VIFF 2014: The Face of an Angel aims a little too wide

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      The Face of an Angel (UK)

      Director Michael Winterbottom plays his typically self-reflexive games with this curiosity, based on the Meredith Kercher murder case and the subsequent 24-hour news-cycle obsession with Amanda Knox.

      Daniel Bruhl is a filmmaker trying to make sense of a situation made unknowable by the media feeding frenzy, Italy's corrupt and unreliable justice system, rumour, ambiguity, and his own midlife crisis. Dante's The Divine Comedy gets inserted a little uncomfortably into this scattershot mix, as does a young student played (impressively) by model Cara Delevingne.

      It's ultimately a little unsatisfying, and the shots at tabloid culture are barely worth making, but flashes of Winterbottom's lively intellect rise from the murk. He's always worth watching, even if The Face of an Angel is destined to be remembered as a lesser work. 

      Centre, October 2 (6:45 p.m.)