New York Times - 03/29/2002
"...Mr. Burke plays his scenes with dank, murderous aplomb..."
Los Angeles Times - 03/29/2002
"...Tender yet laceratingly and darkly funny....NO SUCH THING attains the pathos and gossamer enchantment of the classic fairy tale it is at heart..."
Premiere - 04/01/2004
"[Polley] is a bewitching blend of innocence and cynicism."
Hal Hartley's NO SUCH THING takes place in a near-future dystopia where domestic terrorism is common and Lower Manhattan has become a giant movie studio. Meanwhile, far removed from civilization, an immortal monster (Robert John Burke), prone to insomnia and binge drinking, occasionally torments a remote Icelandic village out of sheer boredom and frustration. When Beatrice (Sarah Polley), a good-natured reporter from New York City travels to Iceland to investigate the disappearance of her fiancé, she encounters a bizarre accident, a kind doctor (Julie Christie), and, eventually, the monster himself. When Beatrice brings the misanthropic creature back to New York, her ruthless boss (Helen Mirren) is more than eager to exploit them both.
Social satire in the guise of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Hartley's NO SUCH THING essentially utilizes Burke's excellent performance as the tough-talking monster to provide a mouthpiece for society's ills, particularly the media. Polley, as the monster's only friend, exudes a charming air of innocence, while the ever-beautiful Christie makes the most out of her relatively small role as a kindhearted physician. The movie is typical Hartley quirkiness on a larger scale, allowing for amazing creature make-up (courtesy of Mark Rappaport) and gorgeous cinematography of the Icelandic coast (by longtime Hartley collaborator Michael Spiller). Hartley's own music, by far his best score yet, adds even more atmosphere to this unusual film.
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