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The Constant Gardener
Release year: 2005
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Screenwriter: Jeffrey Caine, John le Carré (based on novel by)
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston, Hubert Koundé, Bill Nighy, Archie Panjabi, Donald Sumpter, Richard McCabe, Pete Postlethwaite
Ratings: 1 Oscar: Best Supporting Actress (Rachel Weisz). 3 Oscar nominees: Best Writing, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score. 1 Golden Globe: Best Supporting Actress (Rachel Weisz). 2 Golden Globe nominees: Best Picture (drama), Best Director. Cannes: Prix France Musique (Original Film Score).
British diplomat Justin Quayle (Fiennes) take up the investigation his wife (Weisz) was killed because of. As he follows in her footsteps he not only learns about ruthless greed, he also learns more about the wife he lost.
The Constant Gardener is a what you can call a grown-up movie, a delicate, political thriller with underplayed action and excellent performances. Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014) and Weisz (The Mummy, 1999) deliver some of their finest performances in a movie which is as much about their relationship as about the crime, she is investigating. This makes the movie a rare combination of a slow-burning thriller with plenty on its mind as well as a touching romantic drama. Alberto Iglesias received critical acclaim as well as prizes for his score and well deserved. Whether creating the right atmosphere in Kenya or building up to an emotional breakdown, his score perfectly underlines every scene and makes sure all your emotions gets exercised. The story is engaging and is told in stunning cinematography that together with stellar performances from the entire cast, makes this one of the best thrillers of the 2000s.
Fernando Meirelles lobbied to have the movie shot in Kenya, where the story is set, instead of in South Africa, where most of Africa’s film industry is located. After filming, “The Constant Gardener Trust” was set-up to help the inhabitants of the slums near Nairobi where the crew had been filming. The Wikipedia website states: “The poverty so affected the film crew that they established “The Constant Gardener Trust” to provide basic education to those areas (John le Carré is a patron of the charity).”
Picture copyrights: UIP