Michael Haneke's new film is about the two ways in which we experience life through the media: we learn from its truths, and we are influenced by its lies. Or perhaps the film is about something else – if there is one thing of which the filmmaker is fond, it is open endings. To answer one critic's question for the director, which Haneke would not acknowledge: Yes, the film could be about the Iraq War. But couldn't the insistence to dwell on the war apply such a relationship to most recent films?

The issue of open-ended stories and the ambiguous responses they allow is a frustrating problem in cinema. Aside from alienating audiences in need of resolution, they are sometimes so unconditional that all meanings are negligible. Inconclusiveness is also easily criticized as evidence of either a conceit or a cop out, and often there is doubt that some storytellers wouldn't be better off releasing a blank page or screen if they're inclined to be so indefinite.

categories Reviews, Cinematical