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Widescreen: Archipelago

Writer-director Joanna Hogg’s second feature will try the patience of its audience. And it shows how British film-making has lost its way

By Nick Cohen   March 2011

Edward (Tom Hiddleston) in Archipelago: watching this film is like “staring at a cryptic crossword”

Archipelago On general release from 4th March

Viewers try to understand the point of a plot that barely moves. The screenplay is snatches of inconsequential dialogue filled with “ums” and “errs,” followed by long periods of silence. Do they signify  approaching menace or approaching banality? Do they mean something or nothing? A painter appears on the screen, and for no particular reason assesses the relative merits of realism and abstraction. Why? Did writer-director Joanna Hogg think up his role so that she could reflect on…

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