Had to abandon this movie after about half an hour because my partner couldn't take it anymore. I'm afraid I have to second his opinion - perhaps I am missing a trick here (hard to comment without having seen the whole thing) but it seemed to me shallow, pointless and just downright incomprehensible. What the hell is this about? It appears to be about uninteresting lives of uninteresting people. Exercise caution...
Comes across as a vanity piece and as vapid as the lives it attempts to depict. The acting is superb, however, especially Kristin Scott Thomas if don't fall asleep. Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies is a much better evocation and execution of this concept. I am sure that was an inspiration but it falls woefully short.
Character-wise - awful. They are undeveloped, the film gives little understanding of why the characters do what they do, the stories the writer wants to tell drives the piece, rather than the characters existing of themselves.
There is lots of crying but not much emotion evoked as an audience because I can't relate to these people, they are unreal. Just feel sad for Rhys Ifans, not even a kiss from Penelope Cruz.
Following a sublime exposition, a change in tone weakened this film for me slightly. Still, excellent performances, a strong soundtrack and some inspired scenes make this an engaging film. Martha Fiennes is a fascinating director.