The Other Woman

THE OTHER WOMAN (Alliance, 2009) D: Don.

THE OTHER WOMAN (Alliance, 2009) D: Don Roos, w/ Natalie Portman, Charlie Tahan. Rating: NN DVD package: none Rating: NN

You’d think from the title that this is about the joys and sorrows of being some married guy’s action on the side, but The Other Woman, originally called Love And Other Impossible Pursuits (which screened at TIFF 2009 but never got a commercial release here), gets past that part in a couple of quick flashbacks (Emilia falls for her boss he leaves his wife for her) and heads straight for another matter.

Emilia’s baby dies in infancy. She can’t grieve properly and pushes away friends and family. It’s wrecking her attempt to build a relationship with William, her husband’s eight-year-old son from his first marriage.

Natalie Portman, as Emilia, and Charlie Tahan, William, work well together. The scenes where they tiptoe around each other, then peep out of their shells and draw a little closer are the movie’s better moments. Otherwise, Emilia’s nasal whine and predictable responses get tedious fast.

Acid-tongued and seething, Lisa Kudrow steals the show as the ex-wife. Late in the movie, she has a scene with Portman that is so surprising and so emotionally charged, it belongs in a different and far better movie.

Too bad there are no extras. I’d like to hear what drew Portman to such a tedious character.

EXTRAS Widescreen. English, French audio. English, French, Spanish subtitles.

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