In ENDURING LOVE, a Joe (Craig) and Claire's (Morton) romantic picnic is disrupted after a hot air balloon drifts into a field, appearing to be in trouble. Inside the balloon is a young boy and the pilot whose leg gets tangles in the anchor rope. After three men, including Joe, rush to secure the basket and try to save the two passengers, it seems they cannot rescue the pilot, who eventually falls to his death and the young boy remains unscathed. When Joe and one of the other men, Jed, go to retrieve the body of the fallen man, Jed feels an instant connection with Joe--one that, as the weeks go by, becomes ever more intense.
A red hot-air balloon floating gracefully over the green English countryside leads to a shocking death in Enduring Love, an eerie and hypnotic movie based on a novel by Ian McEwan. Two men tried and failed to help, and afterwards Joe (Daniel Craig, Sylvia, The Mother) finds himself being stalked by the hungry-eyed Jed (Rhys Ifans, Vanity Fair, Human Nature). Like a gangly wraith, Jed follows Joe and begs him to recognize the passionate love Jed feels certain was sparked by the balloon accident. Jed's obsession crawls into Joe's head and his life, clawing at his happy relationship with his girlfriend Claire (Samantha Morton, Morvern Callar, Minority Report) and derailing Joe into an obsessive spiral of his own. Enduring Love builds the taut delirium of a Hitchcock movie. Ifans, best known for his comic performances, curls his tall frame into a seemingly helpless but creepily aggressive shuffle; the haunted eyes of Craig and Morton make the crumbling of their relationship as suspenseful as Jed's stalking. Director Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Persuasion) uses fresh, jarring images and sinuous visual rhythms to craft a tight thriller with unsettling emotional layers. --Bret Fetzer
8 Pictures of Enduring Love (2004)
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