Breaking and Entering (15)

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The Independent Culture

Breaking and Entering is the first of Anthony Minghella's films in 15 years to be set in contemporary Britain, which could be why it's so much like a time capsule with "contemporary Britain" embossed on the side. It's packed with immigration, crime, class, infidelity, step-parenting, depression, autism and urban regeneration. It's also crammed with iMacs, lattes and collarless shirts, as if Minghella wanted future generations to learn about every single issue which was being debated in London in 2006, as well as learning what the middle classes were using, sipping and wearing while they debated.

Metrosexual man is represented by Jude Law, an architect whose trendy new King's Cross office is an island of ponciness in a sea of drug dealers and prostitutes. An immigrant gang steals all the office's computers, but Law chases a teenaged thief back to his flat, where he meets the boy's mother, a Bosnian widow played by Juliette Binoche.

She's a seamstress, and Law is having problems with his girlfriend, Robin Wright Penn, so he suddenly finds he has a lot of suits that need adjusting.

It's really an over-ambitious soap opera, but, in among the ponderous speeches, there is some touching dialogue which glitters with very human half-truths, jokes and evasions. Despite Breaking and Entering's state-of-the-nation agenda, it's the small, personal conversations which make it worth seeing.

n.barber@independent.co.uk

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