The Constant Gardener

Release Date: August 31, 2005
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Limited release

Movie of the Day for Monday, May 9, 2005
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Ralph Fiennes appears to have woven himself quite a web of intrigue.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
4/25 Max Braden The best romance of the year and a great political drama.
31/166 David Mumpower Rachel Weisz is fantastic but this one is simply too depressing for me. If you like your drama dreary bordering on hopeless, boy howdy, is this ever the film for you.
36/85 Kim Hollis Not really my kind of thing, but I do admire both the direction and Rachel Weisz's performance.

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Novelist John Le Carré's stories have been popular for both movie adaptations and television miniseries. While the most famous of these, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Russia House and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy all had their heyday many years ago, a smaller adaptation, The Tailor of Panama, found slight success on its release in 2001. Hollywood will once again tap the Le Carré spigot as his thriller The Constant Gardener will be City of God director Fernando Meirelles' English language debut.

Ralph Fiennes will star in the film as British diplomat Justin Quayle, a contented man who has been caring for his freesia garden in Nairobi for perhaps just a bit too long. His wife, the gorgeous and young Tessa, is his exact opposite - a reformer and a lawyer who actually believes in justice. Her passionate campaigns have even earned her the nickname "The Princess Di of the African Poor."

Suddenly, tragedy strikes, and Tessa's body is discovered at the remote Lake Turkana in Kenya. She had been raped. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that her traveling companion (and possibly her lover) has vanished. He is a dashing Congolese-Belgian doctor named Arnold Bloom. Not coincidentally, Justin's complacency disappears right about the same time.

In investigating the circumstances that led up to his wife's disappearance and murder, Justin learns that Tessa had been putting together data against a multinational drug company that takes the sickening approach of using Africans as guinea pigs to test a remedy for tuberculosis. These drugs have fatal side effects. Justin connects his own superiors to the destruction of her report and wonders if they also might have had Tessa eliminated as well.

Soon, Justin finds himself a target and after managing to elude their machinations, becomes a spy and sets off on a worldwide chase to avenge his wife and solve her murder. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Constant Gardener
Main Cast Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston
Supporting Cast Bill Nighy, Hubert Koundé
Director Fernando Meirelles
Screenwriter Jeffrey Caine
Distributor Focus Features
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 130 minutes
Screen Count 1,346
Awards Awards page for The Constant Gardener
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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