A young Austrian survives the crash of a commercial airliner. Six years later, she's a clerk, a mother, happy. Then she dies in a car accident. Over the next year, we follow her daughter, ... See full summary »
A young Austrian survives the crash of a commercial airliner. Six years later, she's a clerk, a mother, happy. Then she dies in a car accident. Over the next year, we follow her daughter, who goes through various medical blood tests, her husband, her best friend who's been having an affair with her husband, her sister who trades sex for shelter, her brother and his hesitant friendship with an emotionally-locked clerk at a pharmacy, the clerk's lonely mother, an unpopular high-school student with bad skin, and the boy she may connect with, who was driving the car in the fatal crash. In happenstance are there patterns? In life is there meaning? Written by
Barbara Albert's Altman-by-way-of-Austria was the least impressive movie I saw at the festival. Following the life of a woman named Manu, the only survivor of a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico, Free Radicals branches off into the troubled lives of her satellites, her friends who fight off loneliness with the same fervor that she does. Their circumstances are no less tragic to them; one overweight woman is so despondent in her loneliness that she throws herself in front of a train (and survives, ridiculously). Another fights with an older, crippled lover who beats her if she comes in late. Manu's daughter dances briefly and sweetly with a guitarist who plays `San Francisco' for her in a subway station. The idea here is that we are all interconnected, but the movie plays this with embarrassing sentimentality. It has its moments-I love the scene where members of a church choir sing along with `Nights in White Satin' in a darkened pub-but overall, Free Radicals feels juvenile.
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