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11 Minutes movie full length review - Not as good as the director's reputation would suggest

Polish/Irish co-production 'Eleven Minutes' follows several characters over the course of eleven minutes in their lives - and straight away we run slap-bang into the film's main problem.

Most eleven-minute segments of people's lives are mundane and dull, and so, for some of the characters, is the case here: the woman walking her dog; the couple watching pornography in an illicitly-occupied hotel room. But by contrast, other characters pack an awful lot into their allotted time: the teenager who gets ignored by his mother, robs a pawnshop and finds a dead body inside; or the motorcycle courier who escapes from his lover's husband, gets involved in a police chase, trips out and then goes to meet his father - all this in just eleven minutes? Really?

Also not helping is director Jerzy Skolimowski's decision to intercut between the characters, which gives an impression of more time passing in the story than is actually the case. Exclusively following one character to the end of his/her story, then another, then another, might have given a greater feeling of urgency. And the way the different characters' stories come together at the end is either skillfully done, or utterly contrived, depending on what mood the viewer is in at the time!

Skolimowski's career goes back to the sixties. To say this film sees him coasting on his reputation would be cruel, but I can't help wondering if the London Film Festival luminary who introduced it would have been quite so gushing had the director been a first-timer.