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At First Sight (1999)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 15 January 1999 (USA)
A blind man has an operation to regain his sight at the urging of his girlfriend and must deal with the changes to his life.

Director:

Irwin Winkler

Writers:

Oliver Sacks (story "To See and Not See") (as Oliver Sacks M.D.), Steve Levitt (screenplay)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Val Kilmer ... Virgil Adamson
Mira Sorvino ... Amy Benic
Kelly McGillis ... Jennie Adamson
Steven Weber ... Duncan Allanbrook
Bruce Davison ... Dr. Charles Aaron
Nathan Lane ... Phil Webster
Ken Howard ... Virgil's Father
Laura Kirk ... Betsy Ernst
Margo Winkler Margo Winkler ... Nancy Bender
Diana Krall ... Singer
Brett Robbins Brett Robbins ... Ethan
Willie C. Carpenter ... Jack Falk (as Willie Carpenter)
Charles Winkler Charles Winkler ... Health Instructor
Drena De Niro ... Caroline
Kelly Chapman Kelly Chapman ... Susan (as Kelly Chapman Meyer)
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Storyline

First Sight is true to the title from start to finish. Val Kilmer skates in the dark appears FIRST to Mira Sorvino car headlights driving lost searching for her retreat spa motel. Kilmers FIRST visual memory links him coincidently to his last. This is a true love drama with Nathan Lane providing laughs counseling visual therapy. All stars emotional vulnerability teach the audience learning love matters in art, architecture, education, parenting, massage and trees. Written by Larry Auburn

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Science gave him sight. She gave him vision. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for scenes involving sexuality and nudity, and for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 January 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sight Unseen See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,444,321, 18 January 1999

Gross USA:

$22,365,133

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,365,133
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only 1999 film to have been reviewed on Siskel and Ebert. See more »

Goofs

When the doctors were operating on Virgil's eyes, you see his right eye closed as if he were sleeping normally. If they hadn't already operated on it, it would have been taped shut. If they had operated on it, it would have been covered with gauze which would be taped on his face. See more »

Quotes

Virgil: Great. I'm blind and you're deaf. What a perfect pair.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the start of the closing credits: Inspired by Dr. Oliver Sacks' true account of the experiences of Shirl and Barbara Jennings They are now married and living in Atlanta, Georgia Barbara continues to sculpt and although Shirl never regained his vision, he now paints pictures of his brief adventure in sight See more »

Connections

Features Pictionary (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Slapshot - The New York Rangers' Goal Theme
Written and Produced by Raymond Castoldi
Performed by Bad Apple
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Only works because of the performances. *** out of ****
24 August 1999 | by Movie-12See all my reviews

AT FIRST SIGHT (1999) ***

Starring: Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino, Kelly McGillis, Steven Weber, Bruce Davison, Nathan Lane Director: Irwin Winkler 124 minutes PG-13 (for sexuality and nudity, and some language) ***

By Blake French, based on comment by Lynda French and Faye Blink:

In many ways "At First Sight," is not a good movie. For instance: It does not do a good job of explaining the inspiration for the plot, the blind man's optical surgery. That is unfortunate, because I really was interested in that concept.

The film, based on a novel called "To See and Not See," is centered on a man who has gotten used to being blind. He knows his entire way around New York. He then falls in love with an architect. Her name is Amy. Virgil, the blind man, is hired by complete coincidence to be her massager. The minutes he touches her, she knows that this man is different for other men she has formed relationships with in the past.

The plot is strong, but thin at the same time. For instance, the film takes heed in developing the characters, but never the conflict, or villain, or sub-plots. If the director would have decided to focus on those things a bit more, or a lot more in that matter, the film would have been wonderful. After all, it is well written and performed.

There is a sup-plot, however, that is detailed. The filmmakers throw in a false break up between two characters, and how Vigirl deals with the misguided presence of his distant father. This incidence is only in existence to create sappy melodrama to further the movie's running time.

My main recommendation comes only from the first rate performances from Kilmer and Sorvino. Val Kilmer ("The Saint" 1997, "Heat" 1994) delivers is outstanding as the blind man. He brings to life the confusion of lack of sight. Mira Sorvino ("Mimic," 1997, "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion," 1997) plays Amy with boldness and verve. She also captures the wonder and creativity of the audience's imagination. The sub-characters including Steven Weber ("Sour Grapes" 1998, "The Shinning," 1997) Bruce Davidson and Nathan Lane ("Mousehunt" 1997) are also very suburb in their roles.

That said, this film is not all that original. Think about it for a minute: two people fall in love, who have many differences and problems. Does this sound familiar? The truth: this is just another romance story with a gimmick. The film works, but only by the skin of its performances.


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