October 16, 2009
Love and Archaeology
By NEIL GENZLINGER
Opa!, a sweet, nontaxing movie set in the gorgeous Greek Isles, has a bit of a black hole at its center named Matthew Modine. But the film’s female lead, Agni Scott, and some fine supporting players make this small film a pleasant if predictable diversion.
Mr. Modine plays an archaeologist named Eric who comes to Patmos in search of a particular religious relic that eluded his archaeologist father his whole career. Eric has something his father didn’t: a computer gizmo that enables him to find likely locations for buried treasures using satellite imagery.
Eric is supposed to be shy and awkward, but Mr. Modine makes him too bland to be interesting, which leaves you wondering why the lovely Ms. Scott’s character, Katerina, would fall for him. The vivacious Katerina owns a popular tavern, and when Eric pinpoints what he thinks is the location of the object he’s after — well, there’s a choice to be made.
Richard Griffiths does some nice work as an old-style archaeologist, conveying with just the occasional melancholy expression the wistfulness of an academic breed being swept aside by new methods.