Sonia, the central character in this picture, finds herself homeless, metaphysically speaking, in the place where she's always lived. The movie's about her struggle to understand this, and to break away from this place where she does not belong. There's an understated beauty in the way this struggle is portrayed on the screen. Renée Zellweger gives a touching and believable performance as Sonia.

The audience sees where Sonia does belong, perhaps before she herself does. Her transformation when she steps into the world of the jewelry trade (which she learned from her father, we are told) is startling. She is self-assured, knowledgable, a force to be reckoned with. This movie might have taken the easy route of having Sonia adopt this world as her new home, giving us her "blossoming" in the process, but that doesn't quite happen. The picture's more about interior events, so instead we see in Sonia the recognition of the possibility that that might happen. Neither does this movie attempt to make Sonia an icon or symbol of women's lib, to its credit.

There are flaws in this one, to be sure, but I won't quibble.