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Colin Firth and Emily Blunt in a scene from "Arthur Newman"

2 out of 4 stars

Arthur Newman
Directed by
Dante Ariola
Colin Firth, Emily Blunt

When he realizes he's failed almost completely at being himself, Wallace Avery (Colin Firth) – a divorced businessman with a dull girlfriend and estranged teenage son – makes the circumstantially reasonable decision to become someone else: Arthur Newman, a golf pro en route to a glam new job at a luxe midwestern country club. En route, he falls in with a similarly self-dodging young woman named Mike (Emily Blunt) and the two eventually take to breaking into people's homes and inhabiting their lives – and clothes and beds – for kicks. First time director Dante Ariola could have played up the creepy perversity of this premise – which, in itself, is frankly kinda careworn – but instead opts for a tone of wounded, opulent middlebrow melancholy. It's a very pretty movie very perfectly performed – Firth and Blunt, both pretending to be American, make for an intensely fetching couple – but the signposts on the road to redemption are so huge you know where you're going way too long before you get there.

Sept. 11, 10:00 p.m., Scotiabank 1; Sept. 14, 6:00 p.m., Scotiabank 2

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