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The Fall

A fairy tale that's more spectacle that story.

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In a Los Angeles hospital in the 1920s, an injured and depressed movie stuntman named Roy (Lee Pace) tells a fellow patient, a little immigrant girl (Catinca Untaru), a fantastical yarn about a group of idiosyncratic avenging bandits. Fiction and reality become easily intertwined -- Roy is doped up, the child brightly imaginative -- with characters and events inside the hospital popping up in the epic, visually spectacular fairy tale. Tarsem Singh's (The Cell) film is wildly self-indulgent, with more cinematic verve than plot. Both narratives have a hazy, dream-like quality that is occasionally spiked by a bit of swordplay or a wry aside; also incorporated is an homage to the magical qualities of early motion pictures that unfortunately grows ham-fisted. The final reel takes a dark turn that makes The Fall less suitable for young kids, but viewers of all stripes will goggle at the gorgeous, color-saturated imagery, stunning costumes and real-life exotic locales. AMC Loews (AH) [capsule review]

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