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INTERSECTION

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Richard Gere, Sharon Stone, Lolita Davidovich, Martin Landau
Director: Mark Rydell
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Paramount
Features: None
Length: 98 Minutes
Release Date: February 19, 2002

“A perfect house for the perfect couple.”

“Let me tell you a secret…it wasn’t so perfect.”

Film **

Imagine this for a second; you have everything in the world you could ever ask for, but your love life is increasingly flawed, especially when you’re caught between two drop-dead beauties like Sharon Stone and Lolita Davidovich. What does one do? Intersection has the kind of plot scenario that would seem right at home on a soap opera instead of the big screen. However, the movie is told is fresh format, with flashbacks within flashbacks to help keep up interest in the story of a man’s slow downfall. Another noteworthy quality is the three strong performances from its three leading stars.

Richard Gere portrays Vincent Eastman, a wealthy building contractor who works with his estranged wife, Sally (Stone), as part of the firm they started together when they first got married. They have a daughter whose thirteen, which is perhaps the only thing keeping the two in limited contact with one another. How did the couple fall apart? Vincent had a chance encounter with a beauty of a redhead named Olivia (Davidovich). They began an affair, Vincent initiated leaving Sally for her, but is still so torn between the two, that he can’t find it in himself to commit to either of them. He still makes time, however, to spend time with his daughter, Meaghan.

The meeting of two fateful roads isn't the only intersection approached in this movie. There are also four lives and two loves, hopelessly entwined and inseparably crisscrossed in a web of emotion. And there's the past, present, and future, all coming together at one explosive moment. Intersection is told non-linearly, with numerous flashbacks and one critical flash-forward. In scene after scene, the present-day circumstances of Vincent are revealed, along with key incidents that contributed to the situation: his early relationship with his wife, his first meeting with his mistress, his decision to leave Sally, and the awkward luncheon between Olivia and Meaghan. When Vincent's highway accident occurs, we are supposed to know him, so all that remains is to see how the final act will be played out.

The movie does drag a bit, driving the viewer to become somewhat uninvolved in the story. This shouldn't be the case, since the emotional dynamics inherent in this situation should give the movie a momentum independent of its non-standard narrative style. That doesn't happen, however, principally because too many of the flashbacks aren't convincing or interesting. A prime example is the auction meeting between Vincent and Olivia. More than any other sequence, this one seems contrived.

Those who like Richard Gere, Sharon Stone, and/or Lolita Davidovich will find something to enjoy about Intersection. The presence of a favorite performer should be enough to eclipse numerous faults. Everyone else, even those who generally enjoy teary histrionics, will likely find this a trying experience. In more ways than one, this particular love triangle is out-of-synch.

Video ****

No complaints here at all. Paramount, whose video transfers are hard to predict on their early catalog releases, surprises indeed with this lavish transfer. This anamorphic presentation renders terrifically for the entire presentation. It boasts a wonderful array of natural coloring, as well, with many outdoor scenes turning up beautifully. Darkly lit settings turn up excellent, too. A true wow of a surprise!

Audio ***

Paramount delivers a more than acceptable 5.1 mix to a film made up completely of dialogue. One area of the film the disc neatly captures is a crucial part in the movie involving a car accident, which is seen both at the beginning and end of the movie. As for the rest of the movie, dialogue is picked up wonderfully and distinct background sounds are heard nicely as well.

Features (Zero Stars)

Nothing.

Summary:

As mentioned before, Intersection and its story seem right at home in a TV-movie or on a soap opera. The actors are convincing in their performances, but the over the top melodramatics of the plot more than demonstrate that their talents deserve somewhat better.