31 May 2005 | grahamclarke
Largely overlooked, worthy of being given a chance - it's a joy
By rights "Déjà Vu" should have been a huge success with wide audiences. The fact that it was not may have to do with it's fairly unknown leading actors as well as Jaglom's previous works, which in some cases would be understandably off putting. It's really a great pity, since "Déjà vu" is one of the great romantic movies, (certainly of the nineties.)
"Last Summer at the Hamptons" indicated an as yet unseen maturity which had been so lacking in Jaglom's previous works. He was finally emerging from his fixated somewhat obsessive traits which may have garnered him a hard core fan base, but have more likely infuriated many. I would urge you, whether you have any knowledge of Jaglom's works or not, to simply give "Déjà vu" a chance.
The conundrum whether two souls on this earth are meant for each other and the eventuality of them meeting (or not) is naturally intriguing. In lesser hands it could degenerate into mush, but Jaglom manages to keep the unbelievable believable in a really delightful and thought provoking manner. Stephen Dillane fits the lead role perfectly. A reputable stage actor, his movie credits have been less impressive, but in "Déjà vu" he proves he has the charisma vital for a leading man on the big screen. Victoria Foyt in the female lead is not as assuredly ready for leading lady status. (Jaglom has often cast his spouse of the time in his movies.) Foyt teeters between making it work or not, but in the final analysis she pulls it off; but just. The supporting roles are really a joy to behold. Vanessa Redgrave seems to be enjoying her role tremendously. Jaglom, a believer in his actors improvising, probably allowed her much room in developing her character. Rachel Kempson, her real life mother, appears in a cameo role as Redgrave's mother in the movie. They share a brief and terribly poignant scene which surely has much to do with their real life connection. Then there's Noel Harrison (Rex's son) and Anna Massey exuding subtle and captivating British humor. Whether you allow yourself to believe the "Déjà vu" story as it unfolds, or simply absorb it as an adult fairy tale, you will likely reap the benefits of a genuine "feel good" movie.