Code 46

Release Date: August 6, 2004
Limited release

Jackets don't work that well for parasailing.

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Position Staff In Brief
43/92 David Mumpower I have watched this twice now, and I still don't have a clue what it's about.

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Director Michael Winterbottom follows up buzz flick 24 Hour Party People with this science fiction romantic tale about a man who falls in love with a clone of his dead mother. Yes, I'm serious.

Code 46 is set in the not-too-distant future where cities are urban fortresses where only residents with "papelles" (i.d. paperwork) are allowed access past the barricaded checkpoints. The rest are stuck living in shanty towns not unlike the one Will Smith and Martin Lawrence drove a humvee through in Bad Boys II. The story is told from the perspective of William, an insurance investigator sent to another city. There, he discovers a forgery artist who has been falsifying papelles. Despite the fact that he is a married man, William is mysteriously drawn to this enigmatic hustler, Maria.

Eventually, William is coerced into covering up for Maria's forgeries, thereby preventing her arrest. The two fall in love and have a passionate liaison in the brief period before William's day pass expires. When he returns home, he can't stop thinking about the new object of his affection/obsession. William tries to attain another papelle to see Maria again, but is rebuffed at every turn. Eventually, a murder allows him to go back, but he becomes stranded when his return flight is disallowed. William finally decides upon a bold and dangerous course of action, as he chooses to attempt to cross the border using one of Maria's fake papelles. When he escapes his surroundings and sets out to find out the mystery of Maria's behavior, William is heartbroken to learn that the two of them might have together violated the dreaded Code 46.
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Obviously, the success of Code 46 will hinge in large part upon the performances of the thespians portraying William and Mary. That makes Winterbottom's casting of 2004 Academy Award Best Actor and Actress nominees Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton something of a masterstroke. Principal photography occurred in the first quarter of 2003, so whether by luck or fate, the timing of their nominations is serendipitous for the $7.5 million production. The fact that both are among the finest talents of their generation counterbalances the potentially off-putting pseudo-incestuous subject matter to a large degree. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Code 46
Main Cast Tim Robbins, Samantha Morton
Supporting Cast Om Puri, Jeanne Balibar, Essie Davis, Nina Fogg, Togo Igawa, Bruno Lastra, Emil Marwa, Nabil Massad, Taro Sherabayani, Christopher Simpson, Benedict Wong
Director Michael Winterbottom
Screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce
Distributor United Artists
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 92 minutes
Screen Count 3
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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