DVD - 2009
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A woman who experiences clinical death as the result of a car accident returns to life with the amazing ability to heal others. Attributing her powers to human love rather than divine intervention, she begins to aid the residents of her childhood town.
Publisher: Universal City, CA : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, c2009.
Edition: Widescreen version
Branch Call Number: DVD FEATURE RES
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (104 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.


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I recently watched an old Dick Cavett interview with Ellen Burstyn while she was promoting this film. It intrigued me so I was glad the SPL had a copy (and a well transfered DVD release, at that). Burstyn stars as a woman who is involved in an auto accident with her husband in which he is killed and she is severely injured. She moves back to the small town she grew up in (but apparently left many years before) to convalesce. She discovers that she has a newfound power to heal people. And while the power is in the faith-healing tradition (mostly laying on of hands) she does not ascribe the capability as being faith-based (she says it is love based). This causes issues with her father, a local evangelical pastor and - as portrayed by Sam Shepherd - his son, with whom Burstyn begins an affair.
It's a bit hippie in it's approach to the subject matter, making Burstyn's following behaving more like a commune (holding gatherings out in fields, for instance). And Shepherd's character never seems to develop beyond two dimensional good/bad behavior. His questioning of faith and love never really gets much depth with the script/filming or his performance. And the ending is rushed and confusing. To his credit, Richard Farnsworth (uncredited in the SPL listing) is wonderful in a small (but fundamental) part early on in the film.
The film is well shot, the dream sequences evoke a timeless space without getting sci-fi-ey, but I came away feeling like the treatment of the topic was shallow and could have benefited from a deeper exploration of the subject.


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