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April 25, 2002     Beverly Hills Weekly
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April 25, 2002
 

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ACTUALLY, IT'S NOT LONELY AT THE TOP. Of course, it's not very crowded either. With only 240 guest rooms perched on a plateau 650 feet up in the Santa Rosa Mountains, The Lodge at Rancho Mirage is the most intimate full-service resort in Palm Springs valley. Offering legendary Mission Hills golf, California-inspired din- D I N 1 N G, D RI N KS ing, Avanyu spa, boutique shopping, tennis and hiking on our nature trails - it's also one of the most active. And right now, with room rates OR ACTIVITIES starting at just $225 including our daily $100 credit toward golf, spa, dining, and the gift shop, The Lodve will certainly be the most nonular. C RE D IT Make your reservations today: 1-888-854-ROCK or rockresorts.com Rockresort Loeations: Rancho Mirage, CA Sausalito, CA Beaver Creek, CO Breckenridge, CO" Keystone, CO" Vail, CO Florida Keys, FL Santa be, NM Manchester Village, V'I" Orcas Island, WA Teton Village, WY one of otels of orld" *Room rate based on availability and single or do,~ble occupancy. "Fax, parking and resort fees additi,)nal. Some rcstrict,o,~s may apply {}fli'r valid April 28 - June 8, 2002 Eclectic crew breathes life into old standard. By Vajdon Sohaili Dougray Scott and the Enigma Machine in "Enigma" Bearing possibly the oddest producing credit since Mel Brooks presented "The Elephant Man", "Enigma" is brought to us through the col- laboration of Mick Jagger, the somewhat crusty icon, and Lorne Michaels-- lam- poon-artist extra- ordinaire of "Saturday Night Live" fame. But the combi- / . nation is surpris- ingly serendipi- tous. "Enigma" takes your stan- dard WWII spy film, a somewhat crusty icon in itself, and puts a post-modern, almost satiric spin on things. Add to this the further unlikely collaborations of director Michael Apted, an alum of the 007 camp; writer Tom Stoppard, arguably the greatest living playwright; and composer John Barry, whose wincingly self-derivative score may have been lifted note lot note from "The Man With The Golden Gun." The result is a film that works both as a cracking g(x)d spy yarn, and also as a clever and often sud- denly funny homage to the form. Weaving fact expertly with fiction, the film opens in March of 1943, with German U-boats prowling the Atlantic. Thanks to the efforts of a group of young British code-break- ers working out of an idyllic country seat called Bletchley Park, German communiqu6s transmitted via the diabolical Enigma machine are being successfully intercepted and deci- phered, ensuring the safe passage of countless allied boats between the U.S. and Europe. Until, that is, the Germans change the code. Tom Jericho (Dougray Scott), the most bril- liant of these mathematicians, is summoned back from Cambridge where he was sent some months earlier to recover lfom a nervous breakdown brought about by an ill-fated liai- son with a beautiful office clerk named Clare. The Enigma of the title splits and multiplies into many separate mysteries: How did the Germans know to switch the code? Where has Clare disappeared to'? And what does it all have to do with a mass grave in Poland? Assisted by Clare's well-shod roommate, Hester (Kate Winslet), and working against the clock to save a fleet of American ships, Tom begins to decipher a connection between the events. For some reason, mathematics have always held a fascination for moviegoers. It may be, as Tom says early in the tim, "With numbers, truth and beauty are the same thing." But I unlike the recent "A Beautiful Mind'S" I Abercrombic & Fitch approach to portraying I mathematicians, "Enigma's" geniuses are ! refreshingly dishevelled. Sometimes absurdly I so, and this is one example of how screen" | writer Stoppard has fun with the accepted con- I ventions. | For}a time irs wonderful to watch, as he I harp(}{ ns gleefully everything from expository ! American generals to gratuitous car-chaseS, I balancing it with the trademark wit and sophiS" | tication of his dialogue. ! But ultimately this puckishness runs to | ground, perhaps necessarily in the interests of I storytelling, and nowhere is the damage more i evident than in the character of Hester. h ! hackneyed bespectacled frump, she shoWS I some signs of reconfiguring our expectationS' but as the plot embroils, she devolves into s faint cipher, and Stoppard, it seems, embraCe~ the very clich6s he sought to deride. It is mo~ the pity that it limits a formidable actress lilCC Winslet, and sinks the ditch that separates ~ great film from a merely good one. Still, in the end, we cannot feel cheated" "Enigma" has a rich nostalgic feel, not ojaly f~.. the movies it descends from, but for the time It depicts-- a time when good and evil wed clearly defined, when last-minute, formul scribbled on pieces of paper could save tl~ day, when even the worst of all monsters w,i~ the best-of-all dressed. And it creates a weS sense of future nostalgia too a sense of col~" fort to hope that somewhere across the heali~ distance of time, even today's headlines ~ one day make a ripping good yarn. Justin Levine will return next week. 6 Beverly Hills Weekly