The Edge of Love by director John Maybury is a sometimes entertaining, sometimes plodding, talented mess. It is stuffed with ambitions of the highest order—in the overly literary script, the mannered yet only intermittently effective acting and scenes of epic battle in both love and war. I’ve liked some of Maybury’s earlier films, in particular his paranoid SF tale about a time traveling Gulf War veteran, The Jacket. Certain scenes in The Edge of Love are beautifully shot and deliver a genuine emotional blast. Other scenes, however, seem merely stagy, phony and stylized. I’m not sure if it was a conscious choice of the filmmakers to go with a small-scale, intimate look or if they were constrained by budget, but the movie often suffers from a rinky-dink, made-for-TV look. Keira Knightley is the star of the film and I can’t make up my mind about her. From some angles, in some lights, she looks like the most beautiful woman currently working in films today. In other shots she looks like a glamorous bag of bones; the movie star as coat hanger. This move is much the same, gorgeous and inspiring every so often but incapable of sustaining the spell it tries to achieve.
The Edge of Love, Image Entertainment. 110 min. Rated R. List Price $27.98. Releases July 14.