A terrible, one-note performance from Nicole makes this film just barely watchable. The subject matter is interesting enough and the direction feels full of conviction but the it doesn't hold together at all. 1.5 stars
Nicole Kidman takes on very well the role of the damaged/grieving mother, giving life to the most complex character of the film. Also, Joseph Fiennes is kinda hot in this, gotta say it. Overall, and despite the fine acting and some beautiful shots, the story was little flat. The kids were presented as spoiled brats, so I didn't really care for them. Besides: who goes out to middle of the desert like that?
Set itself up to be a very promising exercise in nervous tension, but ultimately fell very short. The atmosphere was maintained, though some of the performances were clunky and uninspired. Points for visual style and taking risks, but in the end it needed a little something more.
This is more a film about public personas, secrets, gossip, and how people respond to grief and regret than it is a straightforward mystery. While it is well executed, some viewers such as myself will be a tad disappointed with a film that opens a lot of compelling doors without ever closing any of them.
"It's one of those movies where the viewer is left to make up their own ending. You are left with no satisfaction after sitting through slow dragging torture." - pfff...clearly, people n-e-e-d-i-n-g an ending got butthurt. This was solid.