First, then second, consideration

The Tourist is one of those movies that will leave some viewers scratching their heads, wondering why there isn’t more action, more snazzy editing, more obvious crackle between its stars, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. But I suspect the people who get The Tourist will simply adore it: It’s the kind of espionage caper that doesn’t get made anymore, a visually sensuous picture made with tender attention to detail and an elegant, understated sense of humor. (Stephanie Zacharek, Espionage Caper The Tourist Offers Mystery and Glamour, Plus Depp and Jolie, “Movieline,” 9 Dec. 2010)

KEY SPOILER ALERT

(First consideration) She is really good and appropriate in this picture. Something about how Angelina refuses the viewer, and her spare personality, works to remind you to attend to everything else perfectly worthwhile in the picture. Elegance, a sure splendor of it -- it's hard to imagine anything making an appearance in the film that wasn't (as Stephanie says, tenderly and appreciatively) "considered" ... But I followed this by re-watching "Knight and Day" -- a movie I just can't deny as one of favorites from this year -- and I'm reminded why something in the TRULY "Wisconsin"-born (read: large-hearted, big-souled American) (once Depp reveals his true identity, we should wish him well but still be quite ready to leave him behind -- his human undeterminedness was fake: he's as furnished and complete as the beautiful hotels he for a glorious time inhabited), hammy, down-to-earthness, can ultimately trump every element of fragile stunning beauty some place like Venice has to offer, perhaps in the same way a single human life, perhaps even before its begat into something storied and interesting, can still trump the whole awesome complexity of the entire rest of the ecosphere: no, I'm sorry, whatever your -- albeit -- formidable luxury of experiences and details, whatever the extent of patience required to appreciate all that's in their tiniest sliver, there's no comparing even the sum of it to spending time along someone with sufficient soul to remainder it all to backdrop.

Where Stephanie really scores points with me in this lovely, faithful review, is that Americans should be able to appreciate this (kind of) film, all that it respects enough to quite-to-the-exact-precarious-point-of distraction think about and love -- not just loud star vehicles -- and how many can? The film loses me, for its making its lesson by noticeably submitting the human -- nothing they "existed" made me really forget the kind of hotels (and trains, and such) they had been in. Great PEOPLE made those grand hotels, but more LIVING, vital presences should still readily backdrop them, and they didn't enough -- struck me as about near always-even (not quite, they surely existed more than the other human-types that "accompanied" them) -- for my preference. I COULD take my eyes off them, and though it opened things up, in retrospect, this isn't so much quite the thing I supposed it was on first consideration. Still a really good film, though.

Link: Espionage Caper The Tourist Offers Mystery and Glamour, Plus Depp and Jolie (Movieline)

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