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  • 08-04-2007, 04:52 PM
    Gerald Cooperberg
    I rented this UK indie flick last night. It's adapted by Sean Ellis from his Oscar-nominated short film about a night-shift grocery worker who can stop time and uses his superpower to undress female customers. The expanded version builds around the same theme, but gives him a backstory and eventually centers on a romance with one of his co-workers. God, it was ponderous. Ellis (evidently a former fashion photographer) lenses the film with high style, and a couple of shots are stunners (including an ending setpiece that's singularly beautiful), but the romantic subplot is nothing we haven't seen a thousand times and Sean Biggerstaff is an utter blank in the lead role. The backstory posits him as a morose art-school student who takes the grocery job to mark time during bouts of insomnia, and indeed, Biggerstaff seems desperately in need of sleep whenever he's onscreen. Many of his lines come in voiceover, and these are usually painfully pretentious babble about "the beauty that comes in between the seconds of our lives." The art-school connection and charisma-free lead evokes last year's similarly inessential Art School Confidential, and while this lacks that film's suffocating unfunniness, it certainly isn't any more entertaining. Recommended only if you are a Harry Potter geek (Biggerstaff played the role of the captain of the Quidditch team in the first few films), an aspiring photographer of nude models (there are plenty to be found here), or, like Biggerstaff's character, a deadly insomniac desperate for ways to pass the endless hours of yr sleepless nights.