Monica Goes Indie in 'November'

By Curt Fields
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 11, 2005

The best thing about this psychological exploration is its star, Courteney Cox.

The former "Friends" star turns in a fine performance that's Monica-free as a photographer whose boyfriend (James LeGros) is killed in a convenience store holdup. Shot in a little more than two weeks on digital video, the movie has a grainy, atmospheric quality that does induce a mood of surreal disturbance.

Basically structured in three acts, the film is like a bloody "Groundhog Day" as the store's robbery is replayed multiple times with varying details and outcomes. Cox's strong presence intrigues enough to make you interested in finding out what's really happening, but the film's plodding pace, minimalist plot and convoluted is-it-real-or-not feints and twists may leave you more interested in how much longer you have to sit through it.

In one scene, a detective investigating the shooting comments on some photos that pertain to the case: "It's a shame. They're almost too arty for their own good." The same can easily be said about "November."

November (R, 88 minutes) -- Contains gun violence, bloody shootings and a few profanities. At Cineplex Odeon Shirlington and Regal Gallery Place.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company