Miral (movie)

Movie review: 'Miral'

Movie review: 'Miral'

Julian Schnabel broadens his canvas for his fourth film, "Miral," turning his lens on multiple protagonists and a half-century of Middle East strife. On the face of it a bold undertaking, the Jerusalem-set feature plays out with an awkward staidness, the results not so much prismatic as fragmented.

The story of four Palestinian women, "Miral" is no political tract but a melodrama, emphasis on heartache, selfless sacrifice and often lush visuals. The painter-turned-director knows how to manipulate his widescreen images to create a rarefied atmosphere too.

But while style had an illuminating power in "Basquiat," "Before Night Falls" and...