Crossing Over 2009 ½

In order to let this film be released theatrically, Harvey Weinstein forced writer/director Wayne Kramer to cut it down from it's original 140 minute running time to around 110. These substantial edits are obvious when watching the film, because when it's over you realize that there is so much missing from these characters. We get little glimpses into everyone's lives, but we never get enough to latch onto them or care about the transition they go through during the film.

Random events happen (like a character we knew next to nothing about being responsible for a brutal murder) that make no sense and no impact, characters go through significant arcs that feel forced and undeveloped because we only see them for three scenes and in the end it's just another "everyone's connected" kind of story that feels so contrived, preachy and melodramatic. The performances suffer big time from the lack of any believable or interesting character development, but a few of the actors (Jim Sturgess and Cliff Curtis, in particular) do get a moment or two to shine, but nothing to make much of an impression.

In the end, it's clear that a lot was cut from this film and the characters suffer tremendously, as does the film itself. I mean fuck, Alice Braga was billed seventh (which is big in such a large ensemble drama) and she has one brief scene where she has maybe five lines. It's such a shame seeing one of my favorite, underrated actresses so underused; same goes for Lizzy Caplan who I didn't even know was in it. Overall, a painful mess.

2 Comments

  • I saw the pre-cut version in a test screening, a long time before this made it (barely) into theatres. Must admit I haven't been able to force myself to see the cut version. I admired the long version, despite the annoying teens/tweens seated next to us who howled at every sex scene. Anyway, I thought it was an amazing film and it's a shame it has been reduced to this.

    I gave the film 4 stars, but that was based on the experience I had with this film long ago.

  • I heard pretty good things about the film originally and I'm not surprised that the original version was quite good, given the quality of cast and Wayne Kramer's solid track record. I remember it sitting on the shelf for a long time before finally getting released, it's a real shame that it got cut up so badly. I would have liked to have seen the version you saw.

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