Adapted from a novel by Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese author Jose Saramago, this 2002 political parable is premised on a fantastic conceit: Spain and Portugal break away from Europe and float out to sea together. Magical realism is a tough thing to bring to the screen, and Dutch director George Sluizer, who wrote the screenplay with Yvette Biro, doesn't quite achieve the correct subtle balance of the mythical and sociopolitical. Still, the suspense sequences are on par with those in his best-known picture, The Vanishing, and the acting has conviction, especially veteran Federico Luppi as an old man who impregnates two women. In Spanish and Portuguese with subtitles. 100 min.
By Ted Shen