Probably the prettiest movie made in the last couple of years, The Fall
is also shockingly well-told. As a crippled Hollywood stuntman lies in a hospital in 1920s Los Angeles, a little girl with a broken arm comes to visit him. He tells her a weird, meandering and incompetent story that expresses his romantic frustration, her sorrow over the loss of her father, and their joint incapacity. The tale within the tale is gorgeously realized by director Tarsem Singh, featuring set design that recalls the best of Alejandro Jodorowsky (Holy Mountain, El Topo
) and Matthew Barney (Cremaster
), but without their art-house inaccessibility. All told, The Fall
illustrates a singular vision that not only enhances the range of what can be done visually in film, but also understands deeply the nature of narrative, while still holding a strong emotional core.