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Silk: Pretty but Empty

Silk is like that good-looking celebrity you admire from afar for a while, and when you finally get the chance to sit down and talk to them, they turn out to be vapid and uninteresting. The strength of this movie lies in the visuals, as was the case with another of director François Girard's aesthetically appealing films, The Red Violin. Nature appears to be at its most lush and there are some gorgeous costumes. François Girard and his cinematographer Alain Dostie also seem to have a love for Asian cultures, creating stunning shots of the landscape and people alike. Yet beyond the visuals the movie has an empty feeling to it.

Michael Pitt sleepily plays Hervé, a young silk merchant who travels to a remote part of Japan for healthy eggs at the prompting of his ambitious boss Baldabiou (Alfred Molina, bringing his usual strength and warmth). While there, he encounters a beautiful concubine with whom he becomes obsessed. Even when he's not required to return to Japan and despite political strife rendering the journey dangerous, he goes anyway, inexplicably drawn to this woman with whom he can't even communicate. For more about Silk,

Keira Knightley plays Hervé's willowy and devoted wife Helene, and she does just fine with the role. In many ways, this is Helene's story more than her husband's, and while Knightley is pretty and tries her best, the material she's given is flimsy at best. Pitt gives her blessed little to work with as well, his efforts to be (I think) introspective and thoughtful coming across instead as sluggish and confused.

Silk is based on a lovely, sensual, Italian novel by Alessandro Baricco, and I can easily understand why one would want to visually interpret the lyrical beauty of the words. It's a sweet story but doesn't lend itself to a lot of intriguing action or dialogue — only a succession of beautiful frames. That's nice and all, but I left the movie wishing the filmmakers' efforts had gone toward making paintings or photographs rather than an ill-conceived movie.


Join The Conversation
ocdgirl20112012 ocdgirl20112012 9 years
I think that keira knightley will be good in this movie i still don't know if i want to see this movie becasue she says there is too much sex in the movie. Plus i want to see her with her clothes on not off.
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 9 years
I'm so done with Keira.
ccsugar ccsugar 9 years
Hmmm, too bad, I kinda wanted to see this one. I'll take your word for it Buzz!
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
Thanks for a great, honest review, Buzz. As always, I enjoy hearing your take on movies. I'll add this one to my Netflix list and watch it sometime.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i'll probably see it on dvd just for the costumes and scenery, but i don't expect much from a keira knightly movie.
SoftRockStar SoftRockStar 9 years
I still want to see it, just for Keira, lol.
xo_verity xo_verity 9 years
I will deffinatley not be seeing this then! Its such a shame... the book was so good.
Scarlet Scarlet 9 years
I meant to say "is very good at emoting"
Scarlet Scarlet 9 years
Ugh, I don't know if the actor isn't very good at emoting but looking at him in the trailer made me so angry. It was all about his destiny and his choices (blehh) and he just stood there, like a block of wood.
pinkflats pinkflats 9 years
"Silk is like that good-looking celebrity you admire from afar for a while, and when you finally get the chance to sit down and talk to them, they turn out to be vapid and uninteresting..." that's the best thing i've read today buzz. i know what you mean on how a film would be better if they put so much time in the dialouge and action as they did to the production sets/sceneries. that's the same way i felt with sophia coppola's marie antoinette. well i don't want to waste $10 for a movie that will leave me empty so i'll wait for the DVD on this one, which i'm sure will be like in two months from now coz' i have a feeling it won't make much in theaters.
Lili_c Lili_c 9 years
Hmmmm, shall wait and see till I watch it!
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