That's "The Lost Weekend" to gringos, and what a weekend (give or take) it is! Tilda Swinton is a force of nature in this 'Cassavetes-inspired' gritty road drama about an incorrigible alcoholic who kidnaps an acquaintance's child and goes on the lam to Mexico, intending to extort a huge ransom out of the boy's wealthy industrialist grandfather. Swinton is uncomfortably brilliant as Julia, an out-of-control addict who will lie, cheat, steal and sleep with anyone she has to to get a fix or get cash, since her addiction has left her too erratic to hold on to a job. Swinton is by turns shocking, repulsive, heartbreaking and winsome in her portrayal of a lost woman whose life came unravelled at the seams years ago, and all she's capable of truly caring about now is where she's going to score her next drink. Swinton has a face that is fluidly changeable before the camera, so that she can appear as a wrecked angel one moment and a raging demon the next. Here she's so good at playing a trashy, low-class addict, one marvels that this is the same actress who gave us the icily regal Winter Witch in "Chronicles of Narnia" or the polished high-octane career women of "Adaptation" or "Michael Clayton". Like Cate Blanchett, Swinton possesses striking, unconventional looks and coloring that she harnesses to create a breathtaking range of characters. My admiration for her is boundless. I can't, however, rate the movie she's in as highly as I do her performance--this is a meandering mess of a movie that reflects the meandering mess that is Julia's life and psyche, but it would have benefitted greatly from a tighter script and more self-disciplined editing decisions. 2-and-half hours is self-indulgently long on the part of director Erik Zonca; turns out that it's just too long to watch a little boy get traumatized at the hands of an unstable, self-serving drunk and a bunch of Mexican mercenaries. I understand what drew actor's actor Swinton to this character, but the story does not engage the viewer as much as it did those who made it, evidently. I muscled all the way to the end, hoping for some glimmers of recognizable humanity or redemption in our antiheroine, and they were not forthcoming. Honestly one of the more interminable film viewing experiences of my life that seemed as if it would never end. In my experience, good movies fly by quickly and leave the viewer wanting more. This bloated, low-budget descent into madness with a loco lady in the driver's seat left me completely dispossesed. Tilda Swinton is a fantastic actress; unfortunately this project is too low-rent to garner her the acting accolades she deserves for it. She's top-drawer, but I can only muster a lukewarm rating for a project that in the end feels exploitative of both its actors and its audience. Worth a rental if you are a Swinton fan; if you are looking to purchase a DVD showcasing her range, however, check out her earlier work in "Orlando", "The Beach" or "The Deep End", all which this reviewer can heartily recommend.