Jane is a woman who is hiding from life after an accident leaves her wheelchair-bound. Joey is her friend who speaks to ghosts and angels no one else can see or hear. When he reads in the newspaper that his favorite author will be speaking in New Orleans, he convinces Jean to go with him. Along the way, they meet up with Billie, a young woman in search of her missing husband. The travelers have many obstacles in their path. They meet many different "angels" and "devils" along the way. Will they make it in time for the most important gig of Jane's life? Written by
Dahan out of his element, wallowing in sentimentality
French director Dahan's first film set in post-Katrina Louisiiana and shot in English is a rambling, overly sentimental road picture about two damaged individuals who go on a quest. Zellwegger's paralyzed from a car accident seven years ago, when she met Whitaker in the hospital. He was there for mental problems. He still thinks he hears the voices of angels. They go off in an old Seventies car (which is later stolen) to see the author of a bestselling books on angels, and Whittiker's character wants to take Zellwegger to the birthday party of her little boy, who was adopted by a rich family when her injuries and poverty made her unable to raise him.
On the way they meet a run-down singer (Nick Nolte), something like Jeff Bridges' character in CRAZY HEART except that he only plays the guitar and has sunk so low he can only get gigs at an old hotel and that only if he brings a singer. So he persuades an unwilling Zellweger to come along and perform. There and at her son's birthday Zellwegger gives surprisingly powerful, earnest performances of two songs -- both written by Bob Dylan for this film. The colorful southern atmosphere and the Dylan compositions (which include his own very Tom-Waits-esquire performances on the soundtrack) may be the main reason for watching this otherwise weak effort. It would work better if Whitaker didn't give one of his most mannered performances and if the two principals were not written in as such hopeless losers. Poor critical rating in France: Allociné 1.2 (26). An error of taste, however well-meaning; the director is out of his element. Some will enjoy the music and the settings but this is at best an interesting failure despite the name cast.
12 of 28 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?