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ralph_NP
fiennes_NNS
is_BEZ
carving_VBG
out_RP
a_DT
nice_JJ
niche_NN
for_IN
himself_PPX
in_IN
the_DT
genre_NN
of_IN
period_NN
piece_NN
romances_NNS
._.
for_IN
his_PP$
followup_???
to_TO
the_DT
academy-beloved_JJ
the_DT
english_JJ
patient_NN
,_,
he_PP
has_HVZ
once_RB
again_RB
turned_VBD
to_TO
a_DT
love_NN
story_NN
,_,
this_DT
time_NN
directed_VBN
by_IN
accomplished_JJ
australian_JJ
film_NN
maker_NN
gillian_NP
armstrong_NP
(_(
little_JJ
women_NNS
)_)
._.
despite_IN
some_DT
obvious_JJ
overplotting_NN
,_,
oscar_NP
and_CC
lucinda_NP
is_BEZ
a_DT
mostly_RB
effective_JJ
and_CC
often_RB
affecting_VBG
motion_NN
picture_NN
that_CS
touches_VBZ
our_PP$
hearts_NNS
while_CS
daring_JJ
our_PP$
minds_NNS
to_IN
balk_???
at_IN
its_PP$
implausible_JJ
coincidences_NNS
._.
the_DT
film_NN
opens_VBZ
in_IN
the_DT
mid-1800s_???
,_,
with_IN
parallel_JJ
storylines_NNS
in_IN
new_JJ
south_NN
wales_NP
,_,
australia_NP
and_CC
devon_NP
,_,
england_NP
._.
as_CS
the_DT
helpful_JJ
narrative_NN
voice_NN
of_IN
geoffrey_NP
rush_NN
informs_VBZ
us_PP
,_,
lucinda_NP
leplastrier_NN
(_(
cate_???
blanchett_NN
)_(
is_BEZ
a_DT
headstrong_JJ
young_JJ
woman_NN
being_BEG
raised_VBN
in_IN
the_DT
australian_JJ
outback_NN
._.
meanwhile_RB
,_,
half_NN
the_DT
world_NN
away_RB
,_,
oscar_NP
hopkins_NP
(_(
fiennes_NNS
)_)
has_HVZ
broken_VBN
with_IN
his_PP$
puritanical_JJ
father_NN
over_IN
religious_JJ
issues_NNS
,_,
and_CC
has_HVZ
gone_VBN
away_RB
to_IN
school_NN
to_IN
study_NN
to_IN
be_BE
an_DT
anglican_JJ
priest_NN
._.
lucinda_NP
is_BEZ
fascinated_JJ
with_IN
glass_NN
;_;
oscar_NP
is_BEZ
obsessed_JJ
with_IN
theology_NN
._.
lucinda_NP
is_BEZ
rich_JJ
;_;
oscar_NP
is_BEZ
poor_JJ
._.
lucinda_NP
is_BEZ
forward_RB
and_CC
self-assured_VBD
;_;
oscar_NP
is_BEZ
timid_JJ
and_CC
uncertain_JJ
of_IN
himself_PPX
._.
yet_RB
one_CD
characteristic_NN
unites_VBZ
these_DT
two_CD
diverse_JJ
individuals_NNS
--_???
the_DT
compulsion_NN
to_IN
gamble_NN
,_,
whether_CS
it_PP
's_BEZ
on_IN
horses_NNS
,_,
dogs_NNS
,_,
cards_NNS
,_,
or_CC
the_DT
flip_VB
of_IN
a_DT
coin_NN
._.
and_CC
fate_NN
has_HVZ
decreed_VBN
that_CS
they_PP
will_MD
one_CD
day_NN
meet_VB
._.
that_CS
day_NN
doesn't_DOZ
occur_VB
until_CS
45_CD
minutes_NNS
into_IN
the_DT
film_NN
,_,
when_CS
oscar_NP
boards_NNS
a_DT
ship_NN
bound_VBN
for_IN
sidney_NP
,_,
australia_NP
,_,
where_CS
he_PP
hopes_VBZ
to_IN
change_NN
his_PP$
life_NN
and_CC
minister_NN
to_IN
anyone_PN
in_IN
need_NN
of_IN
his_PP$
help_NN
._.
another_DT
of_IN
the_DT
passengers_NNS
is_BEZ
lucinda_NP
,_,
who_WP
is_BEZ
returning_VBG
from_IN
england_NP
where_CS
she_PP
was_BEDZ
shopping_NN
for_IN
machinery_NN
to_IN
equip_VB
her_PP$
newly-acquired_JJ
glassworks_NN
factory_NN
._.
at_IN
first_OD
,_,
their_PP$
relationship_NN
is_BEZ
that_CS
of_IN
a_DT
reverend_NN
and_CC
a_DT
confessor_NN
,_,
but_CC
it_PP
doesn't_DOZ
take_VB
long_JJ
for_IN
both_PDT
of_IN
them_PP
to_IN
recognize_VB
a_NP
kindred_NN
spirit_NN
in_IN
the_DT
other_JJ
._.
a_DT
friendship_NN
is_BEZ
born_VBN
,_,
and_CC
,_,
once_RB
they_PP
reach_VB
australia_NP
,_,
it_PP
develops_VBZ
into_IN
something_PN
more_DT
potent_JJ
._.
but_CC
oscar_NP
is_BEZ
uncertain_JJ
of_IN
lucinda_NP
's_POS
affection_NN
,_,
and_CC
feels_VBZ
he_PP
must_MD
do_DO
something_PN
to_TO
prove_VB
himself_PPX
worthy_JJ
of_IN
her_PP$
._.
oscar_NP
and_CC
lucinda_NP
isn't_BEZ
beyond_IN
a_DT
little_JJ
manipulation_NN
to_IN
get_VB
the_DT
desired_JJ
emotional_JJ
response_NN
,_,
and_CC
there_EX
are_BER
times_NNS
when_CS
the_DT
storyline_JJ
curves_NNS
in_IN
preposterous_JJ
directions_NNS
._.
on_IN
more_DT
than_CS
one_CD
occasion_NN
,_,
it_PP
's_BEZ
apparent_JJ
that_CS
events_NNS
are_BER
occurring_VBG
specifically_RB
to_IN
funnel_NN
the_DT
characters_NNS
into_IN
a_DT
position_NN
where_CS
there_EX
is_BEZ
only_RB
one_CD
possible_JJ
route_NN
._.
coincidence_NN
is_BEZ
a_DT
crucial_JJ
plot_NN
device_NN
;_;
without_IN
it_PP
,_,
this_DT
movie_NN
can't_MD
go_VB
anywhere_RB
._.
the_DT
voiceover_NN
narration_NP
(_(
never_RB
one_CD
of_IN
my_PP$
favorite_JJ
techniques_NNS
)_)
is_BEZ
too_RB
verbose_VB
and_CC
breaks_NNS
into_IN
the_DT
story_NN
at_IN
undesirable_JJ
moments_NNS
._.
(_(
however_RB
,_,
without_IN
it_PP
,_,
the_DT
final_JJ
twist_NN
,_,
which_WDT
i_PP
will_MD
not_XNOT
reveal_VB
,_,
would_MD
not_XNOT
be_BE
as_IN
poignant_JJ
._.
)_)
yet_RB
,_,
despite_IN
these_DT
quibbles_NNS
,_,
i_PP
enjoyed_VBD
oscar_NP
and_CC
lucinda_NP
._.
storyline_JJ
faults_NNS
pale_JJ
in_IN
the_DT
light_NN
of_IN
two_CD
such_DT
finely-realized_JJ
characters_NNS
._.
thematically_RB
,_,
the_DT
film_NN
is_BEZ
also_RB
strong_JJ
._.
the_DT
unifying_JJ
motif_NN
--_???
that_RB
everything_PN
in_IN
life_NN
is_BEZ
a_DT
gamble_NN
--_???
is_BEZ
successfully_RB
delineated_VBN
._.
oscar_NP
and_CC
lucinda_NP
don't_DO
just_JJ
wager_VB
their_PP$
money_NN
,_,
they_PP
bet_VB
their_PP$
hearts_NNS
,_,
minds_NNS
,_,
and_CC
souls_NNS
._.
a_DT
card_NN
game_NN
they_PP
engage_VB
in_IN
shortly_RB
after_IN
they_PP
first_OD
meet_VB
could_MD
easily_RB
be_BE
considered_VBN
a_DT
form_NN
of_IN
emotional_JJ
"_"
strip_NN
poker_NN
"_"
where_CS
defenses_NNS
are_BER
peeled_JJ
away_RB
to_TO
reveal_VB
their_PP$
shared_JJ
,_,
secret_JJ
passion_NN
._.
oscar_NP
does_DOZ
not_XNOT
see_VB
gambling_NN
as_IN
a_DT
vice_NN
._.
in_IN
fact_NN
,_,
he_PP
believes_VBZ
that_CS
the_DT
greatest_JJS
chance_NN
one_CD
takes_VBZ
in_IN
life_NN
is_BEZ
betting_VBG
one_CD
's_NNS
immortal_JJ
soul_NN
on_IN
the_DT
truth_NN
of_IN
a_DT
religious_JJ
faith_NN
._.
ralph_NP
fiennes_NNS
,_,
who_WP
normally_RB
plays_VBZ
strong_JJ
,_,
confident_JJ
men_NNS
,_,
is_BEZ
very_RB
much_DT
at_IN
home_NN
as_IN
the_DT
fumbling_NN
,_,
insecure_JJ
oscar_NP
._.
the_DT
actor_NN
brings_VBZ
a_DT
variety_NN
of_IN
nervous_JJ
tics_???
to_TO
the_DT
part_NN
,_,
all_PDT
of_IN
which_WDT
subtly_RB
add_VB
to_IN
a_DT
vague_JJ
sense_NN
of_IN
discomfort_NN
whenever_WRB
oscar_NP
is_BEZ
on-screen_IN
._.
as_CS
good_JJ
as_IN
fiennes_NNS
is_BEZ
,_,
however_RB
,_,
he_PP
is_BEZ
eclipsed_VBN
by_IN
cate_???
blanchett_NN
._.
the_DT
actress_NN
,_,
who_WP
appeared_VBD
earlier_JJR
this_DT
year_NN
as_IN
one_CD
of_IN
the_DT
leads_NNS
in_IN
bruce_NP
beresford_NP
's_POS
paradise_NN
road_NN
,_,
is_BEZ
mesmerizing_VBG
as_IN
lucinda_NP
._.
she_PP
gives_VBZ
this_DT
liberated_JJ
woman_NN
her_PP
flash_VB
,_,
and_CC
feeds_NNS
the_DT
chemistry_NN
between_IN
the_DT
two_CD
lead_NN
characters_NNS
so_RB
that_CS
it_PP
sparkles_VBZ
rather_RB
than_CS
fizzles_NNS
._.
effective_JJ
support_NN
is_BEZ
provided_VBN
by_IN
ciaran_NP
hinds_NNS
(_(
the_DT
male_JJ
lead_NN
in_IN
jane_NP
austen_NP
's_POS
persuasion_NN
)_)
as_IN
lucinda_NP
's_POS
close_JJ
friend_NN
,_,
tom_NP
wilkinson_NP
(_(
the_DT
full_JJ
monty_NN
)_)
as_IN
oscar_NP
's_POS
mentor_NN
,_,
and_CC
clive_NP
russell_NP
as_IN
a_DT
self-serving_NN
adventurer_NN
._.
there_EX
's_BEZ
a_DT
real_JJ
magic_NN
in_IN
the_DT
way_NN
armstrong_NP
develops_VBZ
the_DT
story_NN
,_,
keeping_VBG
things_NNS
moving_VBG
in_IN
unexpected_JJ
directions_NNS
without_IN
lingering_JJ
too_RB
long_JJ
on_IN
any_DT
one_CD
moment_NN
or_CC
sequence_NN
._.
(_)
in_IN
fact_NN
,_,
i_PP
wish_VB
she_PP
had_HVD
devoted_VBN
a_DT
little_JJ
more_DT
time_NN
to_IN
the_DT
luminous_JJ
middle_NN
act_NN
,_,
which_WDT
has_HVZ
oscar_NN
and_CC
lucinda_NP
together_RB
._.
)_)
with_IN
the_DT
skill_NN
of_IN
a_DT
consummate_JJ
storyteller_NN
,_,
she_PP
weaves_VBZ
romance_NN
,_,
friendship_NN
,_,
passion_NN
,_,
humor_NN
,_,
and_CC
tragedy_NN
together_RB
into_IN
a_DT
complete_JJ
package_NN
._.
the_DT
characters_NNS
,_,
with_IN
all_PDT
of_IN
their_PP$
human_JJ
foibles_NNS
and_CC
neuroses_NNS
,_,
are_BER
wonderfully_RB
developed_VBN
by_IN
fiennes_NNS
and_CC
blanchett_NP
._.
so_RB
who_WP
cares_VBZ
if_CS
the_DT
storyline_JJ
is_BEZ
a_DT
little_JJ
ripe_JJ
and_CC
unwieldy_???
?_?
oscar_NN
and_CC
lucinda_NP
still_RB
offers_VBZ
abundant_JJ
pleasures_NNS
to_IN
reward_NN
the_DT
viewer_NN
._.