This is a move that simultaneously tries too hard and also doesn’t try hard enough. I got that annoying “I’m telling you something important about human nature here!” vibe at times. And then there’s the little problem of . . .the movie just doesn’t make sense. About 30 seconds after it ended I wondered “what was the point of that?” Why do I give it a grade as high as a “C”? Really clever dialogue. . .which means, who knows, maybe this was an excellent play. And there are about 3 top notch scenes — the scenes that were really filthy and brutal and vile. Those scenes are written wonderfully, but I don’t think Mike Nichols nailed ’em. It’s been a long time since “Virginia Woolf” and I fear Mr. Nichols may have lost his edge. I think you need a sick, deviant fucker to make this movie work. The scene with Clive Owen and Natalie Portman in the “champagne room” should’ve been devestating. Instead it was merely. . .interesting. That’s the word I’d sum up for this whole movie: interesting. That’s interesting. . .what’s for lunch? Hardly the reaction you want when producing a tone poem on the human condition.