Sometimes when bad movies happen to good actors, they give bad performances. Julianne Moore’s performance is ‘Bel Canto’ isn’t good, and at times it felt like it was given by an amateur. She seems disconnected and uninspired, which may or may not have been the case, but to me, it certainly felt so. (Even her miming to Renee Fleming’s voice seemed out of synch) I am mostly baffled that she could give such a bad performance, to be honest.
The film, directed by Paul Weitz, is an adaptation of Ann Patchett’s novel. I remember it was a very popular book, the kind everyone seems to be reading on the subways on their way to work. The film couldn’t settle on a theme – it’s part thriller hostage drama, it’s part romantic entanglements, with the tone shifting quickly. I know of that syndrome wherein captors develop feelings for their kidnappers, but the transitions here are not only not believable, they are laughable. I know this is probably because the screenplay is heavily truncated from the book, but for sure, it could have been written (and acted) better. The crowd I saw it with laughed at all the wrong moments. This will probably fall into my list of worst movies of the year.