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The Messenger

Director/Writer:Luc Besson
Columbia; R; 130 minutes
Cast:Milla Jovovich, John Malkovich, Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway

In Luc Besson's previous movie, The Fifth Element, he was wise to cast Milla Jovovich as Love, a supernatural creature who didn't learn English until halfway through the film. This circumvented the central problem of The Messenger, which is that Jovovich is a model, and not really an actress. Besson rises to the occasion with his grand visual flair, well-suited to the tale of a 15th-century warrior-priestess beset by divine visions. The tale of Joan of Arc has been captured by much film talent throughout the years, but none with the cumbersome iconography, flashy effects, and central vacuousness of Besson.

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