A young woman leaves Ireland to find her boyfriend in England, and while there is helped by a man hiding unsettling secrets.A young woman leaves Ireland to find her boyfriend in England, and while there is helped by a man hiding unsettling secrets.A young woman leaves Ireland to find her boyfriend in England, and while there is helped by a man hiding unsettling secrets.
- Felicia's Great Grandmotheras Felicia's Great Grandmother
- (as Maire Stafford)
The film has the air of confidence from a film maker who has now truly found his rhythm and the ability to bring it to a mass audience. He again starts with a dark theme and manages to keep his world secretive until the final frames keeping the audience riveted. His amazing talent continues with the ability to elicit amazing performances from both established actors like Bob Hoskins and new faces like Elaine Cassidy as well as his ever lovely and talented wife, Arsinee Khanjian.
Hoskins has one of this year's best performances. The chilling Mr. Hildich would have been muddled by a lesser actor, turned into a poor man's Hannibal Lecter. But Hoskins makes the character grow with the film, he only gets more menacing as the film progresses...but never too menacing that you can't feel for him. Cassidy is equally skilled in bringing young Felicia to life. A young woman who is lonely and confused, but determined to see her dreams fulfilled. Also a special mention should be given to Claire Benedict who plays Miss Calligary...a missionary who never quite knows when to quit...even for her own good.
The story does unfold in a series of flashbacks, so those with short attention spans may need to avoid this film. But in doing so, they would rob themselves of an amazing story.
A key element to the film is Mychael Danna's musical score for the film. Music is used much more as a key player in the film than Egoyan has used in the past. It works greatly to his advantage.
This film was the opening night to the 24th Toronto International Film Festival...it was an incredible way to begin the fest. It certainly will be remembered by me for many years to come. Thank you Mr. Egoyan.
- Sep 26, 1999