When Jessica King goes missing, all eyes turn to Annabelle Wilson. Not as a murder suspect, but as a clairvoyant. Many of the towns folk go to Annabelle for help, and Jessica's fiancée, Wayne Collins, turns to Annabelle for possible guidance. Annabelle feels that she can't help, but this doesn't stop her from constantly getting visions of Jessica's fate. Written by
To prepare for her role in this film, Cate Blanchett visited five fortune tellers in one week. One of them told her she needed a bodyguard. See more »
When Buddy Cole has his father tied up and he's going nuts outside their house, there is a part where he slightly turns away (toward the siding of the white house.) That part of his "speech" is voiced over because he's talking, but his lips are not moving. See more »
Psychic widow gets caught up in a murder case and has her own life threatened
The acting was exceptionally good by everyone in this supernatural mystery/thriller. The main role went to Cate Blanchett as a psychic and a widow raising three boys. She did a marvelous job and was never less than fully convincing in the part. Giovanni Ribisi played a troubled young man, with some sort of psychosis, whom Cate helps. Early in the film, I realized that he was something like Robert Duvall in "To Kill A Mockingbird" and that he'd play a key role in Cate's life. Ribisi did a great job too. Keanu Reeves played a violent wife-beating redneck who hates Cate for counseling his wife (Hilary Swank). Greg Kinnear was well cast as a teacher, engaged to a slutty woman played well by Katie Holmes.
So, all around, the director has to be commended for bringing out good acting. The acting is a 7. The story is more a 6.
The story is on the slow side. It takes its time getting to the plot twists, but the acting manages to keep you engaged. Then the mystery takes over. The supernatural element is kept within bounds of reason for most of the movie, perhaps a bit too detailed in her visions. Cate has visions and she sees things as if real. I don't doubt that this happens to people in a waking state or a dream-like waking state, and I don't doubt that they observe cues and process them intuitively.
Katie Holmes is murdered, and the question becomes who did it? There are several suspects, because she had several lovers. Suspicion falls on Keanu Reeves and he is tried for the crime. Cate is dissatisfied with the outcome. This leads her into considerable danger. It makes for a good thriller.
The supernatural element becomes more prominent at the end, although with effort one can devise explanations devoid of it. However, I think the movie's intent is indeed that Cate has a gift and to follow through on that in this genre that allows the extraordinary to happen as part of the story. It is faithful to its story in its own terms.
An interesting theme is that one should not be one's own psychic. Cate has a problem solving her own problems even as she helps other people with theirs. But in the end, she faces up to her husband's death, rather than denies it, which is a problem of hers during most of the movie. And by facing up to it, she resolves her eldest son's grief. The last scene showing this is very touching.
Overall, the story is fairly modest but in the main successful. The movie is a good one.
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