DIRECTOR: NICHOLAS ROEG
COUNTRY: USA 1991
CAST: Theresa Russell, Mark Harmon, James Russo, Julie Carmen, Will Patton, Rich Bradford, Talia Shire.
MUSIC: Stanley Myers
CAMERAS: Francis Kenney
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY: Alden Scott
SUPER FEATURES: This is another Nicholas Roeg film.
I like Nicholas Roeg and Theresa Russell. Despite the possible overacting on the part of Theresa, in a very difficult script to act up to, this film
is a bit unusual in that one is not sure what is actually happening. The character that died, is still alive. The connection to the religious event and the nuns and priest is a bit beyond me, except that Marie (Theresa Russell) somehow is the enzyme which makes the vision happen and thereby change and affect the lives of the priest, his superior, and the 'crazy' nun, who is indeed capable of seeing visions, and bring people
to see them. And Marie, who considers herself an agnostic, and doesn't like the church is forced to come to grips with her own hypocrisy and lies in order to save her marriage, and most likely herself, which is the real hint the priest offers her, when one lies to him/herself.
It is a typical Nicholas Roeg film, in that it is trying to make sense of the visionary space, not an easy thing to do specially when the church
does not accredit anyone who has them for fear of lessening the meaning in their own dogma. And Marie has to figure out what is going on, while at the same time attempt to reconcile her need for physical contact, since her husband is too ill to help her. And to make things more difficult, his healing has more to do with her honesty and ability to communicate. When she is lying, or being evasive, he gets worse. When she is clearer in her ways, he is better. And much like the ending of the film BAD TIMING, A SENSUAL OBSESSION, this time the woman reconciles her lies, whereas in the former the man does not for whatever his reason might be. Marie chooses wisely and properly, thus allowing the ending to be positive, while also helping the local religious authorities come to grips with their dogma (and build a new mission) and vision.
And unlike many of the Roeg films (Performance, Walkabout, Man who Fell To Earth, Insignificance, Bad Timing, and Track 29) this time the main character is capable of resolving the situation into a positive, one with a bit of a future, and a chance to redeem herself.
As usual, this is a visual film, that relies on what we see and don't see to offer us any clues, and it succeeds as a bit of a suspenseful story
until the husband re-appears.
NOT FOR EVERYBODY, BECAUSE IT DOES NOT COMPROMISE ITS GOAL.
MARK HARMON AND THERESA RUSSELL ARE VERY GOOD.
Please email me with questions and/or comments
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