A famed Hollywood director is nearing death and reevaluating his life. What troubles him most is the son he abandoned. As he is shown a film of his son's painful life, he is offered the opportunity of a lifetime: to set things right.
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Douglas ... Donald Baines
Michael A. Goorjian ... Christopher
Karen Tucker ... Isabelle
Bryan Cranston ... David
Richmond Arquette ... Mortimer
Ron Marasco ... Stan
Ted Raimi ... Ian
Kristen Clement ... Sara
Kevin Weisman ... Kay
Ronald Víctor García Ronald Víctor García ... Andrew
Michael Kemmerling Michael Kemmerling ... Seymour
Jules Bruff ... Renee
Nancy Jeffries Nancy Jeffries ... Anastasia
Steve Chabon Steve Chabon ... Bishop
Gibson Frazier ... Interviewer


A once-powerful, but now ailing movie director nears the end of his life. As he awaits death, he slips into a "dream" and is shown three "snippets" of the movie of his son's life. At first suspicious, then curious, and ultimately captivated, he watches his son's growth from mid-teens to mid-thirties as the son pursues his life-long love, Isabelle. The two constants through these snippets are his pursuit of Isabelle and the imagined voice of his father, telling him that he is worthless and unwanted. It is not until the story reaches its conclusion, that the old man discovers the surprising truth about his son and himself. Written by wingsong919

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hollywood | See All (1) »


The only person who could change the story of his life...was the father he never knew.


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence

Did You Know?


This was Kirk Douglas' final film before his death on February 5, 2020 at the age of 103. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: The story doesn't end when you get here, like you think it might. All the mortal pieces have scattered, but the impressions remain. Every last one of them.
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User Reviews

Wonderfully moving with great performances
25 April 2005 | by Richard_DoyonSee all my reviews

This film is wonderfully moving and beautifully crafted. Kirk Douglas's performance was near perfect as the hard-headed businessman producer, a man's man, who has an experience that penetrates to the depth of his vulnerabilities. The scenes between Douglas and Ron Marasco as Stan are wonderful with captivating and moving performances on both sides.

Writer/director Michael Goorjian was nicely understated in his role as Douglas's son and Karen Tucker was charming as Isabelle.

We need more of this type of film. It has an uplifting message that leaves one smiling. It could have easily become saccharine and sentimental but does not. It made me smile.

We saw it paired with the short, "The 100% Perfect Girl" by Greg Boudreau, a marvelous combination.

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Official Sites:

Illusion Productions





Release Date:

October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ilusion See more »

Filming Locations:

Oakland, California, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,261, 20 February 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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