Possible Worlds review

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French helmer Robert LePage's first English-language movie begins with police finding the corpse of George Barber (Todd McCamus), minus its brain. Who's done it, they ponder, and why? Audiences, meanwhile, question so much more: how come George is still alive in other, parallel worlds? And are these landscapes the stuff of dreams or reality?

Based on John Mighton's mindbending play, Possible Worlds is controlled and cerebral sci-fi for those who favour THX 1138 over Star Wars. McCamus and Tilda Swinton (as George's love interest in each alternate world) give cold, mannered performances as the film probes at the very nature of existence.

Then this stubbornly austere movie runs out of ideas, settling for a pulpy denouement. Still, the frustrating ending can't take away from the beguiling set-up.

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