Puzzle

A cloistered Catholic housewife (Kelly Macdonald) in Bridgeport, Connecticut, discovers an unusual gift for assembling jigsaw puzzles and begins surreptitiously commuting to Greenwich Village to train for a national puzzle competition with an expatriate Iranian inventor (Irrfan Khan). Screenwriters Oren Moverman and Polly Mann, adapting a 2009 Argentine feature, belabor the ignorance of their working-class characters; when the wife suggests to her car-mechanic husband (David Denman) that they watch the news, he replies, “Why? Nothing good ever happens in the world.” The inventor’s sarcasm and penetrating personal observations of the heroine pull her out of her silo, but there’s so little chemistry between the mismatched puzzlers that the developing love triangle feels formulaic. In case you were wondering, the jigsaw puzzles are a metaphor for the wife’s identity. Marc Turtletaub directed.