Waking the Dead Film Details
Overview: A congressional candidate questions his sanity after seeing the love of his life, presumed dead, suddenly emerge.
Tagline: Sometimes love has a life of it’s own.
Review: I had never heard of Keith Gordon’s Waking The Dead before tonight. After watching it just now, I am emotionally exhausted, and my mind is in overdrive analyzing every perfect piece of this well thought out puzzle, and reeling trying to process and deal with the raw sadness and electric, haunting nature of the mystery that encases the story like a chilling road map of the two main characters emotions. I am so affected by this one that I’m scared I’ll screw this review up with my rambling adjectives and poetic mumbling that’s become my trademark. There are a lot of films I like, some I love, but it takes a true gem to make it into my pantheon of all time favourites. This made it with one viewing. What can I say. Billy Crudup, who I’ve never been blown away by (although he’s solid in Big Fish) gives an award worthy turn here as Fielding Pierce, an ambitious coast guard operative who climbs the ladder of politics and aspires to be a congressman. He is concise, democratic, and has a by the numbers view of the world. He meets Sarah Williams (Jennifer Connelly), who couldn’t be more different than him. She’s an activist, focused on helping the world one rally, one church, one ounce of compassion at a time, as opposed to institution and organized parties. Despite these differences, they fall deeply, hopelessly, eternally in love. Connelly is a touching wonder as Sarah, expelling warmth and fiery concern with her performance. The two of them together make the most convincing on screen couple I’ve seen in a while, and I couldn’t take my eyes off any scene with them. Now.. the film’s opening scene is Fielding watching a news report of her death, a car bombing in Chile. It then time jumps between scenes of their budding relationship in the 70’s, to Fielding in the early 80’s, on a career upswing. Only problem, he suddenly begins to be haunted by waking visions of Sarah, her voice in his head, her figure in the streets calling to him, memories of her flooding his perception and causing him to see her everywhere. Is she still alive somewhere? Is he losing it? The film makes a very brave choice and decides never to give us one answer, even at the end. Crudup owns the part, especially in the scenes with Connolly, they are absolutely sensational together. The script goes from intriguing mystery to thoughtful treatise on how we may lose what we love and want, but that it may be in service of what we are meant for. Hard stuff for anyone with a heart to swallow, and indeed some scenes later had me just drowning in tears, but a theme that I can’t say will leave my consciousness soon. Hal Holbrook is there as Pierce’s mentor, Janet Mcteer as his no nonsense sister, Stanley Anderson is touching as his father, and Paul Hipp agonizing in one particular scene as his black sheep brother. The film entrances from beginning to end. The soundtrack is perfect, with contributions from Joni Mitchell and Peter Gabriel fitting the ethereal tone, and an incredulous original score. The atmosphere captures Fielding’s confusion and heartbreak sensationally, and some camera work from expert cinematographer Tom Richmond provides some shots that look like they’re out of a dream, specifically a scene in a subway tunnel where he sees her everywhere. The story flows perfectly with the beautiful music, aching romance and otherworldly mystery to weave a flowing tapestry of pure creation. I’m always amazed when all the elements of a piece flow harmoniously together. How this was not one one most talked about film of 2000 just kills me. I can’t say how it will affect you, but it left me sitting on the couch in awe of what I had just seen, on the verge of breaking down, devastated by what Had just unfolded. Maybe you’ll get that out of it too. Maybe not. Just don’t come to me later and say you couldn’t enjoy it as much as you wanted to because I hyped it up too much. I hate when people do that, and you know who you are. Nevertheless, this film.. Deep, ponderous, an old school tearjerker, without pandering melodrama, it gives a purpose to its two star crossed lovers, and the fact that they’re so removed from one another in their respective lives and outlooks only adds to the captivating nature of their unbroken love. I’ll stop gushing..for now.
Country: USA, Canada
Duration: 105 min
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Also known as: Le fantôme de Sarah Williams,Epikindynes anamniseis,Waking the Dead,Kadotettu rakkaus,Ölüyü Uyandırmak,Буђење мртвих,Amor Maior que a Vida,Szerelmem szelleme,Љубав не умире никад,ウェイキング・デッド,Επικίνδυνες Αναμνήσεις,Пробуждая мертвецов,Despertando a los muertos,Despertando a la muerte,Sarah,Przebudzenie miłości,Desenterrar os Mortos,Buđenje mrtvih,Да събудиш мъртвите,Resucitar un amor