NPR logo Potent Mix Drives the 'Constant Gardener'

Potent Mix Drives the 'Constant Gardener'

Ralph Fiennes plays Justin Quayle, a mid-level British diplomat in Africa. He's compelled to investigate the suspicious death of his impulsive and unstoppable wife Tessa, played by Rachel Weisz. Focus Features hide caption

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Focus Features

Ralph Fiennes plays Justin Quayle, a mid-level British diplomat in Africa. He's compelled to investigate the suspicious death of his impulsive and unstoppable wife Tessa, played by Rachel Weisz.

Focus Features

One of the infallible signs of the end of summer is the appearance in theaters of serious motion pictures. First out of the box this fall is The Constant Gardener, and Los Angeles Times and Morning Edition film critic Kenneth Turan says it's the real thing.

Novelist John le Carre and Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles come from different generations. Le Carre is a master novelist of the traditional school. The director, on the other hand, has an edgy, ultramodern filmmaking style. Their methods shouldn't mix. But, in The Constant Gardener, they do. Le Carre's concern with the unhealthy influence of multinational corporations is matched by the director's passion for socially committed filmmaking. Their cross-pollination results in an intricate, intimate film that grips us dramatically, intellectually and emotionally.