Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Directed by Wim Wenders

Apr 13, 2018 Web Exclusive
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Submergence, from director Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, Paris, Texas), brings two attractive stars together by sheer happenstance and lets their romance blossom quickly, only to tear them apart. Theoretically, it should all make for something compelling given the stars and director, but Submergence plods along at a relaxed pace without ever fully gripping its audience.

Danielle (Alicia Vikander) is a bio-mathematician staying in Normandy just ahead of an expedition. She tries to relax a bit but her mind is constantly running, thinking about her deep dive to the bottom of the ocean. One day, out for a walk on the beach, she meets James (James McAvoy), who is out for a run and stops to talk to her. They instantly have a rapport, which quickly turns into a romance at almost record movie speed.

James is a spy, spending time in Normandy before he is sent to Somalia on a mission. Danielle and James' jobs are very different and by nature force them to spend most of the movie apart, after their brief and passionate encounter. We can see their affair unfolding on screen but Wenders, working from a screenplay by Erin Dignam and based on a novel by J.D. Ledgard, never translates the story into anything emotional. Most of Submergence feels curiously flat, given the frustration that the characters go through once they are separated.

Vikander - whose post-Oscar choices haven't been the strongest use of her talent - and McAvoy do what they can to ignite a little spark in their interactions. Two actors can only do so much when they are given so little. Submergence looks pristine but lacks depth from the start.

Author rating: 4/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10


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April 14th 2018

I cannot express in words how this film has touched my heart.  This beautiful piece of artistic work needs to be seen by the world.