In this Anthony Minghella film, a young landscape architect (Jude Law) with a state-of-the-art office in a dangerous neighborhood in the Kings Cross section of London suffers repeated burglaries. This sets into motion a chain of related… MoreIn this Anthony Minghella film, a young landscape architect (Jude Law) with a state-of-the-art office in a dangerous neighborhood in the Kings Cross section of London suffers repeated burglaries. This sets into motion a chain of related events and clashes between ethnicities, forcing the architect to reexamine his life.
Breaking and Entering offers a kinder, gentler version of London's strife than we're accustomed to seeing. Not all parts of the script are equally well-developed, and sometimes it seems as if we're looking at drama under glass.
Though Binoche does very solid work, she can't sell the idea of her and Law as a couple; the chemistry isn't there. Not much else rings true in Minghella's screenplay, which is full of coincidences and speeches about race and class.
As with all of Minghella's films, there's intelligence and texture and depth and feeling, though here the emotions can seem frostbitten. Perhaps the first thing that wasn't working and needed to be fully broken to heal was the script.
Though intricately plotted and well acted, Minghella's characters feel more like symbols than flesh-and-blood characters, and their travails seem designed to illustrate a lecture about privilege, injustice, cultural stereotypes and bourgeois complacency.
Maybe Jude Law should take some time off from acting. Maybe Juliette Binoche should get a new dialect coach. Maybe Anthony Minghella should try writing a movie ending that doesn't make everybody groan.