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The movie eventually begins to wilt under the sober, plodding direction of Steve Jacobs, but the thoughtful screenplay gives Malkovich a complex, increasingly reflective character arc that he plays with great feeling.
If you know the novel, you're likely to feel that something has been lost here; if you don't, you still have the film's monotonous pacing to contend with. Still, Jacobs has directed an intelligent, intriguing drama.
Unfortunately, though Malkovich remains a compelling and cerebral screen presence, he comes off as too innately detached and prickly to elicit much empathy (not that his character is asking for it, mind you).