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is he an alien or a complete nutjob? It's a question handled pretty
clumsily until the bemusing, ambiguous finale. But even if Charles
Leavitt's screenplay (based on Gene Brewer's novel) doesn't have the
subtlety to make this a compelling mystery, two strong performances,
John Mathieson's luminescent cinematography, and the ethereal atmosphere
Softley conjures more than make up for its deficiencies.
the director's last film - the clinical, emotionally eviscerating
trauma of "The Wings of a Dove" - it's as if he has decided
to go to the other extreme, presenting a naive, touchy-feely fable,
a blend of "Starman" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's
Nest", by way of "Awakenings".
that's not necessarily a bad thing, particularly when you've got
leads as emotionally affecting, and different, as these. Both contenders
for the 'Best Actor of their Generation' tag, their styles prove
has the showier, grandstanding role - wistfully gazing and sagely
proffering platitudes with his head cocked to one side, before he
really proves his mettle in the more emotionally extreme moments.
Bridges, in contrast, is as natural as ever - the magnitude of his
performance creeping up on the viewer, before another particularly
touching moment of clarity.
to think too much about "K-PAX" and its frail narrative
edifice starts to crumble. Go with it, however, and this good-looking
movie is a moving and cathartic experience.
opens in UK cinemas on Friday 12th April 2002.
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Reviewed by Nev
Pierce , BBC Films