Lourdes Grobet
EW Staff
November 14, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Original Sin

Current Status
In Season
116 minutes
Wide Release Date
Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie, Thomas Jane, Allison Mackie, Joan Pringle, Jack Thompson
Michael Cristofer
Michael Cristofer, P.D. James
Romance, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a C-

When Michael Cristofer began adapting ”Waltz Into Darkness,” a noirish novel by Cornell Woolrich (”Rear Window”), he knew who should play his mysterious ingenue: Jolie, whom he’d directed to a 1999 Golden Globe as doomed supermodel ”Gia.” She didn’t have to be convinced. ”Neither one of us is ever trying to be shocking,” she says. ”But we tend to understand certain things about life that [shock] other people.”

In this case, they both connected to an 1880s mail order bride arriving in Cuba to wed a wealthy coffee planter. Banderas was tapped to play Jolie’s besotted, bewildered husband to be billed later; the Spanish actor had been intrigued by the story since he saw François Truffaut’s 1969 version, ”Mississippi Mermaid.” (”But if you call this a remake, I will come after you,” cautions Cristofer. Noted.)

The movie, shot for less than $20 million with Mexico standing in for Cuba, hit a pleasant bump when Jolie had to excuse herself for a trip to Los Angeles — to pick up her Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Upon her return, the crew rousted her from her trailer. ”I just got off the plane and was trying to wake up,” she says. ”I heard this noise and walked out — it was the whole crew with this mariachi band, and they all handed me flowers. I nearly passed out from embarrassment and joy.” GOOD SIGN The Banderas – Jolie matchup was hot enough to spark rumors (much denied) of an on set romance. THEN AGAIN Cristofer’s last flick was the opposite of hot ”Body Shots.”

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