The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students who wants to search through his papers and her estranged sister who shows up to help settle his affairs.
In 1975, at age 18, Phoebe is unhappy. When she was about 10, her father died of leukemia; her older sister Faith became a political radical, left for Europe with her boyfriend Wolf, and commits suicide in Portugal a year later. Phoebe, who has romantic ideas about both her father and Faith, decides to trace Faith's steps, find Wolf, and learn what really happened. She finds Wolf in Paris, and he tells her stories of Faith's radical activities, including joining the Red Army in Berlin. Phoebe has visions of her sister, seems close to madness, and may be headed for suicide herself. It's the trip to the cliffs of Portugal that will make the difference: breakthrough or breakdown? Written by
In the beginning of the movie, Phoebe and her mother, Gail, are watching TV which is showing the opening credits to the show "The Rockford Files." The sound coming out of the TV is not the opening theme for "The Rockford Files." See more »
Those disappointed in the film "The Invisible Circus" would make a better investment by purchasing the novel by Jennifer Egan. Written from the perspective of eighteen-year-old Pheobe, the novel is an enchanting coming-of-age story with the added intrigue of her lost "hippie" sister.
Most of the narrative focuses on Pheobe's inner thoughts; which no doubt made translating it to the screen a difficult task. Debates on whether it is a "chick flick" are warranted; both the film and the novel center heavily on the female viewpoint.
In response to the first posted review, the paintings by Pheobe's father, Gene, are *supposed* to be awful. Part of the narrative focuses on Pheobe's realization that her father was not a sainted, thwarted artist, but an ordinary man.
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