The Invisible Circus

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The Invisible Circus

Several years after her free-spirited older sister (Cameron Diaz) dies under strange circumstances, a restless Jordana Brewster heads to Europe to find out what really happened. A coming-of-age story disguised as a mystery—or maybe the other way around—The Invisible Circus tries to avoid the traps of both genres. Brewster literally follows in her sister's footsteps, tracking Diaz's increasingly dangerous and desperate pursuit of hippie idealism, while at the same time marking her own growth as an adult. Even with this hybrid scheme, Adam Brooks' film can't decide whether to stress the story's personal or political aspects, and though The Invisible Circus spends much of its time hopping from San Francisco to Paris to Berlin and finally to Portugal, the story itself remains oddly inert. When Brewster and audience alike reach the end of the journey, no real ground seems to have been gained. Set in the mid-'70s with plenty of flashbacks, the film attempts to portray the death of '60s counterculture ideals, but the scant period details don't seem vital to the basic follow-your-dreams message. Glimmers of lyricism, relatively subtle sentimentality, and gorgeous postcard scenery never quite make the emotional connections necessary to validate The Invisible Circus' portentous mood.

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