Characterized by lyrical images akin to work by producer Terrence Malick, "The Beautiful Country" unfolds slowly. Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland's pace emulates Binh's laborious journey, but, although one desperately wants to like this well-meaning film, it ultimately evokes tedium.
The energy picks up, however, when Binh ditches the Big Apple for Houston, his father's last-known address, perhaps because one anxiously awaits the appearance of the top-billed Nick Nolte. It's in these passages that the warm and open-hearted beautiful country of the title is revealed, but we cut away from the tentative early overtures between father and son rent by war far too soon. Starring Nick Nolte, Damien Nguyen, Bai Ling and Tim Roth. Directed by Hans Petter Moland. Written by Sabina Murray. Produced by Edward R. Pressman, Terrence Malick, Petter Borgli and Tomas Backstrom. An SPC release. Drama. Rated R for some language and a crude sexual reference. Running time: 125 min.