Julianne Moore’s operatic hostage drama falls flat

Julianne Moore's operatic hostage drama falls flat

Dir: Paul Weitz. Cast: Julianne Moore, Ken Watanabe, Christopher Lambert, Sebastian Koch, Ryo Kase, María Mercedes Coroy, Tenoch Huerta, Noé Hernández. 15 cert, 101 mins

Ann Patchett’s well-regarded 2001 novel Bel Canto was inspired by the 1996 hostage crisis in Lima, when 14 armed guerrilla fighters hijacked a party at the residence of the Japanese ambassador, and held hundreds of guests to ransom. Incongruous though these surroundings may feel for multiple romantic assignations to the strains of world-famous arias, this is the blueprint Patchett laid down, by making her main character a celebrated soprano whose talent places her kidnappers in a stronger bargaining position.

Set, like the book,…

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