James Ivory’s first film since his partner Ismail Merchant’s death was made almost three years ago and has been making the film festival rounds and only now getting an official release in the USA. A middle eastern doctoral student (Omar Metwally, RENDITION) in a Midwest college, when denied official permission to write a biography of a famed deceased writer from his heirs, flies down to Uruguay to change their minds. Once there, he is seduced by the unconventional lifestyle on their private estate. His widow (Laura Linney) and mistress (Charlotte Gainsbourg) are against the book but his gay brother (Anthony Hopkins) is for it. Metwally isn’t much of an actor or a screen presence which I suppose makes him a good choice for the cipher that his character is. But Linney is marvelously unlikable as the steely widow and Gainsbourg disarming as the mistress and Hopkins relationship with his younger lover (Hiroyuki Sanada, LOST) is quite poignant. The film runs too long and could have easily done without the unnecessary “4 months later” coda addition but the very final scenes between Linney and Alexandra Maria Lara as Metwally’s ex-girlfriend are a perfect ending. With Norma Aleandro (OFFICIAL STORY) as a sort of Uruguayan Auntie Mame.