Based on the international best-selling novel by Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces is a poetic film about love, loss, and redemption. ... More
It tells the story of Jakob Beer, a writer whose life is haunted by his childhood experiences during World War II. As a child in Poland, Jakob is orphaned during wartime, only to be saved by a compassionate Greek archeologist. Over the course of his life, he attempts to deal with the losses he has endured. Hide
BY Andreas-Heinemann Flicks Writer
Taken in isolation, there are aspects of this film that are deeply impressive. The combination of lush cinematography with the Greek settings provides some gorgeous imagery, while the camera is also able to capture the bleak greyness of urban Toronto and WW2-era Poland. Allied to these aesthetics are suitably lyrical snippets of voiceover that vividly express memories both painful and intangible.
The actors hold up their end of the bargain too, particularly lead Stephen Dillane who does his best with a difficult character. His Jakob is a cliche of the tortured artist, with deeply intellectual traits robbing him of much of his situation’s inherent sympathy. Despite this, he easily enters into romantic relationships with the female characters, who are remarkably forgiving of his overbearing moroseness and an obsession with his lost sister that at times verges on the creepy.
These women are vital, sparkling creations that seem designed to bring a lighter touch to the story, but they are unable to lift the leaden weight of the film’s static storytelling style. Like Jakob, the piece as a whole is too earnestly pretentious to be likable or operate on anything more than an academic level.