The Stone Council
Monica Bellucci cuts her hair short and ditches the make-up in an attempt to show that she isn't just celluloid eye-candy in this supernatural thriller that has ghostly similarities to The Sixth Sense and Rosemary's Baby. Bellucci shouldn't have bothered trying so hard, as the director Guillaume Nicloux's iterant adaptation of Jean-Christophe Grange's fantasy novel is overwrought and so full of plot holes that no acting performance, however great, could rescue this movie from the shackles of mediocrity. Bellucci plays the Russian interpreter Laura, whose adopted 7-year-old child (Nicolas Thau) starts to have visions, speak strange languages and become extremely agitated whenever he's in the presence of the neuropsychologist Sybelle (Catherine Deneuve). Her young son leads an eventful life; he's involved in a car accident and is then kidnapped. Fortunately, a Russian agent in the comely shape of the German superstar Moritz Bleibtreu is willing to help the devastated Laura, as she finds herself without offspring and framed for a series of murders in Paris. The atmospheric tone, acting and pacing makes this watchable until the abrupt and farcical conclusion, which sees the action move to scenic Mongolia and the plot veer into immortal Highlander territory.
Updated: August 20, 2008 04:00 AM