Her character was Elise, the mysterious woman who makes Depp's Frank fall madly in love with her. Throughout the movie it looked as though she was supposed to be a woman who could handle herself. She was tailed by the police all the time and she was involved with an extremely dangerous man. Yet as the movie went on it was Frank that was having to help Elise half of the time. This was a great disappointment for me, yet I have never really had that much in the way of faith of Jolie. I can appreciate that she can act, but I also feel that a lot of her roles are given to her because of her physical appearance more so than her ability as an actor.
Depp was the shining star in this movie. However do not take this compliment as meaning that it was a stand out. This movie has been nominated for an Oscar in the Comedy/Musical section (obviously as a comedy) yet there were few laughs. But back on topic. Depp's character was the simple, ordinary every day man who came across a beauty of a woman and was then taken on a trip of a lifetime, please excuse the cliché. It was a good portrayal and you really felt and empathised with him as he struggled to understand the complexity of Elise. I would not say that this is one of Depp's greatest roles, but it is definitely one that should be remember when talking about his range as an actor.
Paul Bettany, I usually find to be a great actor and one that I thoroughly enjoy, yet in this movie I hated him. It could have been because of the direction of the movie by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck or the script itself, but I found him to be a major pain in the arse. And it was not one of those characters that you love to hate, but one that you just hate and wish was off the screen.
The representation of Scotland Yard was saved thanks to a cameo appearance from Timothy Dalton. He was light-hearted and just lifted the, at times, dull mood of the movie.
And if only to complicate the script further introduce a gangster from Steven Berkoff. While it sounds as though I am complaining about the character, I am not. He was brilliant, what every crime boss should be and every moment he was on the screen he made the film brilliant. I complain because the script writers had him in there, and they didn't give him room to grow. Much like how I felt about Michael Sheen's Zuse in Tron Legacy, Berkoff's Reginald Shaw should have had more screen time and a further developed character.
Personally I do not believe this should have been nominated for a Best Picture in the Comedy/Musical section because it is not that kind of a film. It is a dull thriller with some light-hearten comedy thrown in and a few good twists in the plot. I feel that this movie is worth the ticket price at the cinemas and should be appreciated for what it is, and not for what it has been built up to be by the Oscar officials. I also say ignore the professional critics because they only see movies in technicalities, and they are only able to see what a checklist tells them to see. You can take what I have said on board or ignore it, but I am a person who loves to watch movies so I watch the movie without checklist in hand.