The first big problem with this movie is that it decided to stick with the structure of the novel by attempting to inter-cut one story in the present and another in the past. The problem is there is no solid connection between the two thematically. It would be different if there were some strong thematic ties between what was happening in the past scenes and what was happening in the present scenes, but I did not see that here at all. It's like someone took 2 movies and tried splicing them together randomly, and then inserted a bunch of lines at the end from Ralph Fiennes in his Voldemort makeup which attempted to portray him as the man in the other story. That's tough enough to swallow, but there's a bigger problem at the core of this film...the star-crossed love affair at the center of it is despicable to begin with. Because they so perfectly show the happy marriage of Kristin Scott Thomas and Colin Firth, it makes me despise the 2 main characters for what they are doing to Firth. They don't even feel the need in this movie to show any real reason that people are falling in love with each other, it's kind of like "Your a woman, I'm a man, let's do this!" I didn't feel a lick of romance in the relationship between the Count and Katharine, and most of the romance between Hana and Kip was overly cheesy candlelit cliches. The pacing of the movie doesn't help either. The entire thing is like a funeral dirge of tedium as they take an agonizingly long time to get anywhere. Also, did I hear right? Did Ralph Fiennes actually say that he DID work for the Nazis? This guy is despicable, why is he the centerpiece of this movie? I hated all the characters, I hated the story, I hated the dialogue, and I hated the acting performances. It's 20 years after the fact, but I can finally join the chorus of people who were appalled that this film won an Oscar for Best Picture.