Three stars for the actors. There is a story here, but it is a mess, however, the human element offered by the cast is well worth the time. Especially Christina Ricci shines in what must be one of her best performances. I also enjoyed watching Depp and Turturro in roles that they aren't quite used to.
I'm torn between this film's weaknesses (which are numerous), and this film's strengths. On the one hand, it's very powerful in its story and message and I felt very "present" in it, but on the other hand, the dialogue they gave Turturro's static character was absolute melodramatic nonsense. He gets the worst written dialogue in the whole film. Johnny Depp's character is likewise pointless and infuriatingly static.
Beautifully shot and edited, with many instances of storytelling through purely cinematic terms, in which the graceful flow of images do the work of communicating meaning and emotion, instead of endless talking. Too bad the film is not only woefully miscast, but also acted in such a stilted, mannered way that the results are sometimes unintentionally funny. In short, it is impossible to believe in any of it.
Some questionable camera choices, like Johnny Depp in slo-mo and periodic softening of the image, otherwise an okay film. The Verdi piece is just so beautiful. For some reason I did not recognize Cate Blanchett at all until the credits, so credit to her for fully inhabiting her role as Lola.