Ask The Dust (2006)

Colin Farrell bestows his often obnoxious writer Arturo Bandini with much soul, and Salma Hayek was born to play her coarse, explosive, but vulnerable waitress. Otherwise Robert Towne’s adaptation of John Fante’s novel is pretty, but lacks the high-tensile cinematic touch and feel for human behavior Mr Towne’s mentor Roman Polanski could have brought to this tale of minority group romance. Towne, armed with two of the most sexually vivid stars around, remains utterly shy of the charge they could have provided. Nor can he generate any visual companion to the poetry of Fante’s writing recited on the soundtrack. Without the bite of real sex and real blood in its central romance, the film turns to warm cream. The finale has an edge of sweet tragedy.

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