City of God was released to the public here in the States back in 2003 (it was released internationally and in festivals in 2002), and what director Fernando Meirelles accomplished with that film is nothing short of phenomenal. From it’s unflinching look at crime and Brazilian life to the sheer visceral nature of its filmmaking (few films nail stylized photography and editing that serves a purpose to the story like this), it’s a piece that’s become an instant favorite of mine and a film I’d easily put up in the top 10 of this decade. Having seen it again only a few short days ago simply reinforced that fact.
Meirelles’ new film, The Constant Gardener, stars Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz and is based on the novel by John le Carre. Apparently, early word on the script (penned by GoldenEye scripe Jeffrey Caine) has not been the most positive but, as a follow-up to his City of God, I’m more than willing to give Meirelles the benefit of the doubt.
Here’s a rundown of the film: "In a remote area of Northern Kenya, activist Tessa Quayle (Weisz) is found brutally murdered. Tessa’s companion, a doctor (Hubert Koundé), appears to have fled the scene, and the evidence points to a crime of passion. Members of the British High Commission in Nairobi assume that Tessa’s widower, their mild-mannered and unambitious colleague Justin Quayle (Fiennes), will leave the matter to them. They could not be more wrong. Haunted by remorse and jarred by rumors of his late wife’s infidelities, Quayle surprises everyone by embarking on a personal odyssey that will take him across three continents. Using his privileged access to diplomatic secrets, he will risk his own life, stopping at nothing to uncover and expose the truth – a conspiracy more far-reaching and deadly than Quayle could ever have imagined."
The folks over at Coming Soon! nabbed the exclusive, so click the image below to check it out.
The Constant Gardener mows its way into theaters August 26th.