Thanks, Kev, for posting this!
I was looking into when the DVD for this was due, and saw it's delayed possibly because it's actually still in a few US theaters. Lo and behold, one of them was close enough to me to see it in person. I enjoyed it a lot! Very imaginative, visually amazing, and at times emotionally captivating. Definitely worth seeing in the theater if by chance you can.
I will say, though, that this is not a typical FLM movie: the little girl is one of the two main characters, but she is just a normal 5 year old girl, not exceptionally cute or bright or precocious. Her performance is excellent, but that performance is not the focus of the movie: all the (no-name) cast exist to further the story and visuals.
The girl's character is from an immigrant field worker family in Los Angeles. She is recovering in the hospital from a broken arm. She speaks just enough English to translate for her mother... which is interesting, because apparently the little actress (who is Romanian) does not speak English and was coached to perform her role by rote memorization.
See this for the movie, not as much for the girl, though her performance is a nice bonus. You can get the idea why this is playing in art-house theaters, it's not mass-market. Roger Ebert says it better than I can, here are some excepts from his review (I left other parts out, they are too much spoilers for my taste).
Tarsem's "The Fall" is a mad folly, an extravagant visual orgy, a free-fall from reality into uncharted realms. Surely it is one of the wildest indulgences a director has ever granted himself. Tarsem, for two decades a leading director of music videos and TV commercials, spent millions of his own money to finance "The Fall," filmed it for four years in 28 countries and has made a movie that you might want to see for no other reason than because it exists. There will never be another like it.
"The Fall" is so audacious that when Variety calls it a "vanity project," you can only admire the man vain enough to make it. It tells a simple story with vast romantic images so stunning I had to check twice, three times, to be sure the film actually claims to have absolutely no computer-generated imagery.
The story framework for the imagery is straightforward. In Los Angeles, circa 1915, a silent movie stunt man has his legs paralyzed while performing a reckless stunt. He convalesces in a half-deserted hospital, its corridors of cream and lime stretching from ward to ward of mostly empty beds, their pillows and sheets awaiting the harvest of World War I. The stunt man is Roy (Lee Pace), pleasant in appearance, confiding in speech, happy to make a new friend of a little girl named Alexandria (Catinca Untaru).
Roy tells a story to Alexandria, involving adventurers who change appearance as quickly as a child's imagination can do its work. We see the process. He tells her of an "Indian" who has a wigwam and a squaw. She does not know these words, and envisions an Indian from a land of palaces, turbans and swamis. The verbal story is input from Roy; the visual story is output from Alexandria.
And there is the sweet charm of the young Romanian actress Catinca Untaru, who may have been dubbed for all I know, but speaks with the innocence of childhood, working her way through tangles of words. She regards with equal wonder the reality she lives in, and the fantasy she pretends to. It is her imagination that creates the images of Roy's story, and they have a purity and power beyond all calculation. Roy is her perfect storyteller, she is his perfect listener, and together they build a world.