I was blown away by Fernando Meirelles’ The Constant Gardener (Focus Features, 8.26) this evening. I don’t know how popular it will be (it may be a little too complex and sophisticated for the schmucks) but it’s very high-quality merchandise with a decent shot at year-end awards and Oscar noms. I expected it would be at least pretty good, considering how extraordinary Meirelles’ City of God was, but I didn’t expect it to be this smart and impassioned and as strongly political. This is easily the best adaptation of a John le Carre novel since The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (1966). It’s a combination love story and whodunit wrapped inside a realistic political drama that feels as raw and teeming as City of God and then some. Set mostly in Kenya, its about the murder of activist Tessa Quayle (Rachel Weisz ) and the efforts of her mild-mannered diplomat husband Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes) to find out why she wss killed and who did it. Did you know drug companies can be as ruthless as arms dealers or corrupt dictators? The only disappointing aspect is the casting of Danny Huston in a supporting role as yet another morally compromised scumbag. Here’s the trailer.