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Stay (2005)

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This movie focuses on the attempts of a psychiatrist to prevent one of his patients from committing suicide while trying to maintain his own grip on reality.


Marc Forster


David Benioff
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ewan McGregor ... Dr. Sam Foster
Ryan Gosling ... Henry Letham
Kate Burton ... Mrs. Letham
Naomi Watts ... Lila Culpepper
Elizabeth Reaser ... Athena
Bob Hoskins ... Dr. Leon Patterson
Janeane Garofalo ... Dr. Beth Levy
BD Wong ... Dr. Ren
John Tormey ... Custodian / Piano Mover #1
José Ramón Rosario ... Cabbie / Piano Mover #2 (as José Ramon Rosario)
Becky Ann Baker ... Paramedic #1 / Butch Cook
Lisa Kron Lisa Kron ... Paramedic #2
Gregory Mitchell Gregory Mitchell ... Dance Instructor
John Dominici John Dominici ... Boy / Young Henry
Jessica Hecht ... Boy's Mother


A thought-provoking and haunting exploration of how reality and dream-states may combine to form complex interactions. The line between the imagination and reality blurs when an accomplished Psychiatrist takes on a patient that appears to be suicidal. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Between the worlds of the living and the dead there is a place you're not supposed to stay.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

21 October 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El umbral See more »


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,188,199, 23 October 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$3,626,883, 27 November 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The color yellow is used prominently throughout the film. It represents sunshine, happiness, loyalty, joy, optimism, remembrance and warmth. It energizes mood and relieves depression. It's the lightest and brightest color on the color wheel. It's an attention getter - one reason taxi caps are painted yellow and in most countries traffic lights and signs are yellow, meaning caution. Even some blind people can detect the color yellow. On the other hand, it represents cowardice and deceit. Judas is often depicted wearing yellow. See more »


When Sam is talking to Dr. Ren about Henry's decision to commit suicide, Ren's beard changes length between each camera shot, inside and out of the hospital. See more »


Henry Letham: Do you know the Tristan Rêveur quote about bad art? It's "bad art is more tragically beautiful than good art 'cause it documents human failure."
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was censored to achieve a 15 rating. A line of dialogue describing a suicide technique was altered. The original line was restored in the 2006 18-rated DVD. See more »


Featured in Writing the Music for 'Stay' (2006) See more »


Cold Water
Written and Performed by Damien Rice
Courtesy of Vector Recordings, LLC / Warner Bros. Records, Inc., 14th Floor Records
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing and Warner Strategic Marketing UK
(played in the end of the movie)
See more »

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User Reviews

Could Have Been Remarkable
18 April 2006 | by finding-somethingSee all my reviews

While the direction is flawless, the art direction unparalleled, and despite Ewan McGregor providing another breathtaking and engrossing animation of character, the film is, unfortunately, fundamentally flawed. It's story is lazy.

Images will stay in your mind for months afterward. The wall of books, Sam's too short pant legs, the staircase that seems to have been built on its side, the film is nothing short of a breakthrough visually. It never really cuts, it's absolutely seamless from scene to scene. The special effects are truly special. The movie is absolute eye candy, and shot totally unconventionally, breaking the 180 degree rule almost constantly to brilliant affect.

First, how the story works. The way the narrative unfolds, the story itself becomes a kind of character, and a very good one at that. Sam is a wealthy psychiatrist, seemingly beginning to break down, prone to bending the rules of the trade, while Henry, a patient, is undeniably a mess mentally. As a result, we see the events through the eyes of, well we're not sure. Probably one of these two characters. This is the gimmick-going-for-genius-but-fails of the film, the audience is only ever as sure of anything as either of the main characters seem to be. We plunge with them down to the depths of their ever increasing madness. We accompany them on their journey, trying to make sense of an utterly senseless world.

Now, how it doesn't work. The twist is just not tight enough. If you're going to write a story where ultimately nothing happens, then the twist better be brilliant, I mean perfect. Here it is not. While it is interesting and complicated and even good, it pales in comparison to the other components of the film. It fails at any psychological or philosophical profundity, and fails as a rewarding narrative. The story alone, I'd only give 3 stars. So, while I'm unsure just how this movie ever got made based on its story, I am glad that it was. A true treat for the eyes and the imagination.

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