7.5/10
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Eye of God (1997)

We see two stories told over four time lines, which wind down to a devastating ground zero collision, as we watch a double tragedy unfold in a small Oklahoma town. The two stories are told ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Drama

An epic, sweeping, violent love story set against the backdrop of 1930's dust-bowl Oklahoma.

Director: Tim Blake Nelson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Claire Spencer
...
Tom Spencer
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Les Hector
Woody Watson ...
Glen Briggs
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Ainsley DuPree
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Dorothy
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Jack Stillings
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R.J. Prichard
Larry Flynn ...
Jim Nutter
...
Willard Sprague
Maggie Moore ...
Janice
Vernon Grote ...
Fast Food Customer
...
Lee
...
Sheriff Rogers
...
Mrs. Rogers
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Storyline

We see two stories told over four time lines, which wind down to a devastating ground zero collision, as we watch a double tragedy unfold in a small Oklahoma town. The two stories are told out of normal time sequence, showing us brief glimpses of the beginning, middle and end of the two stories in seemingly random order. One story concerns Ainsley DuPree, who meets and marries her prison pen pal Jack. The other story begins with the discovery of a mute and bloody teenager, found wandering and in shock in the middle of the night, and the efforts of the town sheriff to determine what happened to him. As the film unfolds these tales, the viewer is confronted with questions of the existence and mercy of God and the hopelessness of being alone and adrift in an indifferent world. Written by Sean Parlaman <seanpar@efn.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes a leap of faith can be deadly.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and depiction of abortion | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

17 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beyond Obsessions  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Ainsley DuPree: How old are you?
Tom Spencer: Just turned 14.
Ainsley DuPree: Don't you never get pulled over?
Tom Spencer: Sometimes. I drive friendly.
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Connections

References Knight Rider (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Terrifying Power
21 February 2006 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

With explicit references to the Bible, "Eye Of God" is a thought provoking film that explores the effect of religious faith on the relationship between a lonely young woman named Ainsley (Martha Plimpton) and Jack (Kevin Anderson), the prison parolee whom Ainsley befriends. In its realism and its setting in rural Oklahoma, "Eye Of God" reminds me of "Silkwood". Both films are depressing, sad, and have a fatalistic quality to them. Both films explore life and death issues. And in both films, the essential question is not who, or when, or how, but ... why.

In style, "Eye Of God" is simple, direct, low-key, and personal. There's very little camera movement. Typically framed by doors or windows, most scenes are unobtrusive locked-off shots of characters talking. The cinematography is totally not flashy nor gimmicky in any way. The acting is direct, restrained, understated, and high in quality. Martha Plimpton gives a flawless performance. I was also impressed with the performance of Margo Martindale, in a support role. Further elevating the overall acting is Hal Holbrook who gives his usual raspy voice performance as the town sheriff.

There's very little score. At times, country songs can be heard in the background. The film opens with the beautiful gospel recording of "Live With Jesus", by Wynonna Judd.

Some viewers may not like the story's non-linear structure. The film uses time-cuts to force the plot ahead and then back in time in such a way that scenes are not necessarily in chronological order. But the scenes are always thematically related. As the film moves along, the various seemingly unrelated threads come together. And it all makes sense in the end.

This is a movingly personal film whose theme runs deep. As such, nearly all viewers can connect with one or more characters in some way. The film is entertaining for its high quality acting and for its interesting cinematography. But more than that, this is a film with a profound message relevant to contemporary audiences. "Eye Of God" is one of the best films of the last fifteen years.


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