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The Eclipse

Ciaran Hinds and Iben Hjejle in The Eclipse

It’s not impossible that some kids will get to the point of having bought their tickets and taken their seats for this movie when they realize from the opening credits that it is not, in fact, the third Twilight movie (full title The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, opening June 30). If they stay for it (may as well, already paid for the tickets) I wonder what they will think of this odd little Irish film, which, despite a few shocking appearances by dead souls that would not be out of place in the Freddy Kruger reboot also opening this week, is a most adult story of loss and love and the emotions in between. The oversized but soulful actor Ciarán Hinds—you’ve seen him as villains in lots of movies—plays Michael Farr, a teacher in a small Irish town that hosts an annual literary festival. Still suppressing his grief over the recent death of his wife, he volunteers to help out by driving some of the guests authors around. These include Lena Morelle (Iben Hjejle, the Danish actress who played John Cusack’s ex in High Fidelity), who writes about people who have been visited by ghosts, and Nicholas Holden, best-selling author of popular drivel and a bit of a drunken asshole. Holden is played by Aidan Quinn with the kind of relish that comes when you get to shake off decades of being cast as nice guys: He’s a lot of fun to watch. That Nicholas and Lena had an affair which she regrets but he wants to continue is about all you need to see the geometry of the story clicking into place, though despite that The Eclipse never quite goes where you expect it to. Impatient viewers like those Twilight fans might not be at all happy with where the story goes, or fails to go: It isn’t a movie for those who like everything spelled out for them, Not that reticence is a virtue in and of itself; I would have been happy had this brief film been puffed out a little more, if only for the chance to spend more time looking at the Irish scenery and watching these characters.

m. faust

Watch the trailer for The Eclipse

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