Published Apr 01, 2005Looking for Alexander is ridiculously overblown and completely devoid of sense, but it's made with such oblivious sincerity that it's strangely touching. If Maria Montez were a director, this is the movie she'd make.
Roy Dupuis stars as a veterinarian who's developed amnesia after a road accident; piecing his life together proves difficult, as his estranged family gives unreliable information about their relationship and he's starting to remember things that may not have happened. What starts as a fine springboard for an identity crisis drama grows increasingly bizarre as the screenplay throws in wacky left-field elements and refuses to explain things. (I gave up on taking it seriously once the police introduced the possibility of his possession by a dead Native man.)
In its corner is director Francis Leclerc's knack for cinematography and steely blue design, as well as the first believable performance I've ever seen by Dupuis. But director Francis Leclerc clearly wants you see this metaphysical melange as pregnant with meaning when it's really a posh thriller gone gnarly and bad. However, this only makes it more entertaining you're constantly wondering what dumb thing it'll do next, and just when you think it can't get any more ludicrous, it does and does and does.
While the film fails as cinema, its total commitment to its bad ideas is moving on a level that a listlessly coherent film will never know. It's the kind of thing to be watched through the surrealist exercise of walking in and out of theatres at random to see things out of context. Do that with Looking for Alexander and you risk having your mind blown. (Alliance Atlantis)