Much has been made of Ewan McGregor's nude scenes with Tilda Swinton in director David Mackenzie's barren tale of adultery, death, and civic duty set on a barge traveling between Glasgow and Edinburgh. But nudity is perhaps the only intriguing element in this ponderous and torpid story about Joe (McGregor), a young drifter who takes work on a barge operated by a husband and wife (Peter Mullan and Tilda Swinton) after the mysterious death of his ex-girlfriend. Joe seduces Ella practically in her husband's presence and the two begin a doomed affair that distracts Joe from court proceedings against a man believed to have murdered his former girlfriend.
Rated NC-17. 99 mins. (C) (Two Stars)