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  • Heavy_Storm17 July 2004
    I can't understand exactly why this movie seemed so good to me. It doesn't have a very elaborated plot. But the movie somehow speaks to us.

    The way the director tell such a dense story is marvelous. Movies like this leaves us breathing deeply when it ends. You will fall in love for the characters, and pity them.

    The movie suffers from a certain lack of complexity. In some minutes you can easily understand what's happening (and, if you read the box summary, then you will get it in no time at all). Still, it's pretty, and adorable.

    The musical score is perfect. It draws us into the movie most of the time, and makes our hearth pounds together with the scenes.

    Till Human Voices Wake Us is a poem. Simply as that.
  • I am not one to write comments on films on many occasions but I recently saw this movie and it touched me so much that I felt compelled to comment on the film.

    "Till Human Voices Wake Us" was beautiful in it's imagery and cinematography, music, acting and writing. It had so many themes which resonated with me on such a deep level. Themes such as look at how we deal with traumas in our life and how they impact on who we become as an adult. Themes about looking at the patterns of behaviour passed down from generation to generation and the huge difficulty in breaking those patterns. Perhaps most important to me was the message that you have to work through your past in a positive way so that you can be free to live your future.

    The characters were so beautifully created and the subtlety of the performances was just so moving. It's amazing how a glance or a breath can convey so many words and feelings.

    I thoroughly loved this film and its images, themes and lyrical beauty have come back to me again and again since seeing the film. Thank you to all involved for providing me with such a wonderful experience.
  • I watched this movie on television while it was running several times one month. The first time I watched it, I got antsy and changed the channel back and forth. I wound up watching it in its entirety several times later on. It is a haunting, intriguing film. Guy Pearce, of course, is extraordinary and so is Helena BC. I see it as a portrayal of a tortured soul who is still in shock from a momentary incident which altered his existence forever. One moment he is an innocent boy and the next he is suppressing a nightmare he cannot come to terms with for half his adult life.

    Once he allows himself to live the entire scenario with all the memories and the what if's, when he allows the ghost to be free, the tortured soul is also released. A beautiful, poetic and memorable film.
  • As one who would like to make films some day, this film blew my mind as an example of superb cinematography and lighting, as well as balanced and subtle acting. Guy Pearce was a little rigid, but i haven't seen him in anything else, so that may have been an affectation of the morose and sombre character he was playing. Bonham Carter would be a dream to work with. She's a master of the art and has a sly dark, sexuality that i can't resist. I haven't yet, but i'll be searching out the cinematography and lighting credits and looking for more of the work of those fine technicians. Good work on a difficult and slow paced psychological drama.
  • This is a magnificent triumph of film-making. Why is it that five years later, the writer and director Michael Petroni has not made another feature film? Is there no justice at all in the world? Everything about this film, the mood, the pace, the beautiful and sensitive cinematography, the music, the writing, the direction, and the acting are uniformly superb. No one with any sensitivity could fail to be moved by this dreamlike excursion into memory, remorse, and loss. This film deals with 'atonement' more profoundly than the film of that title which has just been made. Helena Bonham Carter gives one of the most memorable and inspired performances of her entire career in this film. Guy Pearce, who was so wonderful in 'Memento' (2000), here is even better. The teenaged boy and girl are played by Lindley Joyner and Brooke Harmon respectively, and they are spellbinding and delightfully refreshing and charming. (The boy has never made a film since, and one wonders why.) The boy's father, a man paralyzed in his emotions, is played with total conviction by Peter Curtin. His silence is eloquent, and so is Guy Pearce's. This film deals with silence, with dreaming, with visions, with memory. It is not in any way a 'supernatural film' in the conventional sense, and anyone hungry for poltergeists and demons should look elsewhere. This film is very sad, because it deals so profoundly with guilt and loss. It touches the deepest reaches of our psyches, it is a true work of art, and has a master's brush strokes on every frame.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The beautiful Helena Bonham Carter as usual played her part to perfection.

    When I was young a girlfriend of mine drowned while we were swimming, so in a remote way I can relate to this movie.

    I of course never met the ghost of the girl that drowned, but I can relate to the feelings of the boy. This movie was rather a fantasy, and I was very impressed with Miss Carters performance. DR Franks seemed to have difficulty in believing she was who she was, So he hypnotized her to find out for sure, and he convinced himself I believe to an extent. The ending was a little disappointing, but it would have been hard to come up with another one I guess, so we'll have to be satisfied with this one. I watched the movie because Helena Bonham Carter was in it. You can watch it because it was a beautiful watchable movie.
  • I was reading some of the previous reviews and realized that not everyone would get or like this movie - it is not one I would recommend to many friends, but I loved it. Painful, real, acknowledging of life's moments to regret- it made me think of the line from the Big Kahuna when Danny Divito says you have lots to regret, you just don't know it yet (paraphrase) - another great non-action movie. I saw nothing of the paranormal in this movie - I think that is an interpretation by those who do not get it. Beautifully done and tenderly told, I heartily recommend this movie to a small handful of special people which included my 15 year old daughter.
  • "Let us go then, you and I,

    I have seen them riding seaward on the waves Combing the white hair of the waves blown back When the wind blows the water white and black. We have lingered in the chambers of the sea By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown Till human voices wake us, and we drown."

    This excerpt from the poem 'The Love Of J. Alfred Prufrock' by Eliot is our theme for a film called Till Human Voices wake us, a film I've owned on DVD for almost two years and only got around to watching last night. I have a whole gigantic stack of films that number in the hundreds which I still have to conquer. Some are dodgy movies and risky looking indie muck that I picked up because they have an actor or actress I really love. Some end up being absolute gems that I wish I got around to far, far sooner. This is one of those. It's such a beautiful story, an atmospheric, airy glance into grief, regret, life after death, guilt and redemption. It stars Guy Pearce as Sam, an emotionally constrained professor of psychology who travels back to his town of origin in eerie, ambient Australia to bury his recently deceased father. The very moment he arrives he is flooded with memories both glad and sad, permeated deep to his core by a past that he perhaps purposefully numbed over with time and tide, revisiting the lost events of a youth painted by wonder and first love, and tainted by aching tragedy. We see in flashbacks his younger self (Lindley Joiner) barely a teenager in the lonely rural outback. He spent his days back then with his beautiful friend Sylvie (Brooke Harmon), and the two fall deeply, sublimely in love in that affectionate way that only two youngsters who are both experiencing it for the first time can profess. Tragedy strikes though, resulting in Sylvie's death and Sam's withdrawal from his life in the that town, and eventual flight from Australia, not to return until over a decade later, much older yet still plagued by the loss. Upon returning, he meets a mysterious girl named Ruby (Helena Bonham Carter) who he saves from jumping off a bridge. All she can remember is her name. Nothing else like who she is or what she was doing up there. Sam takes her in and tries to help her figure out who she is, and perhaps unbeknownst to him, who he is these days as well. Together they meander through meadows memories, exploring each other's thoughts, perceptions and feelings, gradually coming to some third act revelations that really shouldn't come as a surprise to any viewer with an ounce of intuition. The surprise comes not in being taken off guard by plot turns, because I certainly wasn't. No, the film never sets out to try and surprise you, and guessing what's going on before any reveal I suspect was part of its plan. What it floored me with, though, is the level of emotion and heights of pure crestfallen sadness that we need to sit through. I say need because this is a film about coming to terms with ones own past, hard parts and all. Sam has bottled up the loss of Sylvie for quite some time, and his character arc lets it all tumble out in some scenes that hit hard. It's never ugly or despairing though, and gracefully makes itself only as sorrowful as it needs to be. Pearce and Carter are painfully good in the leads, quietly devastating work for both. It's Harmon and Joiner who complete the song as young Sylvie and young Sam though, two young actors who are uncommonly good on camera and vastly skilled at imparting the raw, reckless and romantic nature of youth, particularly discovering love for the first time, and subsequently losing it in heartbreak that strikes far too soon, like an early summer storm. This is one I'm imagining not too many people have heard of, and one I might have gone a few more years without seeing if I hadn't randomly decided to watch it last night. I'm glad I did, and you should too.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK. It was a beautiful film. But holy jeez. It was so long, slow, and boring. I nearly went crazy.

    They depicted a teen summer romance effectively, and also the aura of romance that permeates a teen life in a rural area. That was nice. Interestingly, the boy restrains himself from sexual advances. That's certainly unique for such a story.

    But what the hell was wrong with the girls legs? Was it polio? So he takes her braces off and she is somehow treading water while holding his hand. Then she breaks away and drowns and he doesn't even notice or can't find her? What the hell? I guess they needed a talent like Pearce to convey the sadness of our protagonist with facial expressions. But that's pretty much all there was all film long. Sadness conveyed.

    Cut it shorter, add a little more background and dialog, and ease up on the schmaltzy music.

    Again, this was a visually beautiful film, but excruciating to get through.
  • The supernatural seems to be real in this poetic film about a repressed Australian psychiatrist who revisits his boyhood home. Thereafter, the film becomes a long dream sequence as he deals with a terrible trauma from his youth. The beauty of the Australian countryside makes the dream world seem possible.

    Ingmar Bergman's film Wild Strawberries has a very similar construction, without the ambiguity. Perhaps a direct influence?

    The pace and music are deliberately slow to evoke a sleep-like world, so don't lose patience. Just enjoy the idyllic scenery and the wonderful acting, especially by the teenage actors.
  • i had no expectations before watching this movie. I've heard very little about it but what i have heard was it was just plain bad. I honestly just watched it because Guy Pearce was in it, but if there is one thing we've learnt from watching Pearce's films is that he takes the complex unoridinary films and this is no exception. Firstly lets start with the plot. From reading other reviews you already know Pearce is a doctor and his leading lady has amnesia, but the film is so much more then that. Pearce's character goes back to where he grew up to barry his father and goes on a journey to recover the past that he never dealt with. It's truley an amazing story about the tragedy one boy experiances in his youth and how it has affected his life thus. Don't take my word for it and don't listen to all of those who have said the movie was bad or made no sense, watch it for yourself and you will see this is another one of Pearce's masterpeices.
  • This movie is an under rated film that blends the past and present. It focuses on what is and what might have been, and what life would be like if we had the chance to correct our mistakes. Dr Sam Franks is a man who returns to his home town to bury his somewhat estranged father. On the way he rescues Ruby, an unknown woman who cannot remember who she is or why she is here. He takes her in, and she makes him remember memories he had tried to forget. We are revealed through painful, and sad flashbacks of terrible memories, what it is he had tried to forget. In the end it seems as though she was brought here, just to make him remember, so he could forgive and move on. A sad film, but beautiful at the same time. A line that would sum this film up would be - "She never was."
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you have just opened this page to decide whether you want to rent this film, I recommend you not read ANYTHING about it. See the film with no preconceptions and discover what it means to you. As each viewer will bring his own life experience and beliefs to it, you may perceive a different story than other viewers. For me, it is one of the most memorable of films.

    After you have viewed it, come back to see which reviewers saw the same story you did.

    SPOILERS BELOW:

    Some reviewers have panned this film for being a lame and predictable ghost story. I don't think that's what it is, possibly because I don't believe in ghosts but do believe in the power of past events in our minds. It occurred to me early on that Ruby may not be real, but as I had read nothing about the story before seeing it I maintained this as a hypothesis rather than as a fact.

    As I watched the film I concluded that the protagonist was delusional. The memories jarred by his visit to Genoa, by staying in his boyhood home, were just too painful--the father who was distant to the point of nonexistence, the love he had lost as a teen, the guilt he felt related to Sylvia's death. Most of us can look at past events and see ones we wish had turned out differently, but these events go beyond that. These events he has repressed and they have held him prisoner. Ruby is a creation of his tortured mind, a way to try to reconnect with Sylvia.

    And it worked for him. He saves her from drowning in the same river, they talk, she tells him she loved him, they make love; things that would have happened had he not taken her into the water years earlier. Things he needs to have happen, even if only in his mind.

    In the closing scenes he is not surprised to see she has disappeared. He accepts that and is ready to begin healing.

    Of course, he could also just be dreaming and will soon awaken. But that ending was overused long ago.

    A truly beautiful and memorable film.
  • This is an absolutely marvelous film. Director Michael Petroni has given us a thickly layered story that begs a second watching, if only to appreciate the nuanced placement of clues to a possible interpretation of the main concept; and here is one of the ideas that makes the film so powerful. The best films cause in us a desire to find meaning and intent, and the very best ones allow the engaged viewer to do so through their own looking glass, coming out the other side somehow transfixed and urged to look at their own lives with new tools of understanding. Perhaps one has to have done some personal work with psychiatry or at least psychology to appreciate some of the concepts explored, but at the very least the film is a touching testimony to self-exploration.

    If you have not seen this movie, please don't read on. It's worth seeing without any precept. My take on the film is just that, and I hope perhaps it resonates with others. The lead character (Pearce) is a psychoanalyst who himself is troubled by a life yet unresolved, haunted by the repression of an event that changed his approach to life. There is so much to talk about here, but I will try and keep it simple. When the death of him father requires him to visit the town he spent his summers in during childhood (with his father), he is forced, or forces himself, to confront the aforementioned event involving his teen love, Sylvia. When floating in the river at night together, she somehow slips from his cluth and disappears. It's only later that her body is found. The character development leading up to the tragedy, and the moving between present and past is well executed.

    The telling of the teen romance, and the appearance of a woman in the town where he is burying his father, and their subsequent realationship, are interwoven in an engaging fashion. The interpretation of the woman's existance is I believe not a fixed one. I notice the reference to 'ghost' in other posts, but I believe he has conjured her essence, and proceeds to relive numerous events the two experienced together as children, but this time with her as a contemporary. The whole is an exercise and/or ritual to allow him to release her from his psyche, so that he might be healed from the guilt and confusion that has since colored his life. There as countless clues to all of this-the pulling of her from the river and bringing her back to life after she jumped from the bridge, the reply 'you brought me here' when she was asked by him 'how did you get here', the evening scene when they revisit the crazy old woman's place where her breath was visible and his was not, and many more too numerous to mention.

    There are also several other layers that are interesting and deliberate as plot concepts. In the opening of the film he is teaching a class and refers to three types of memory loss; amnesia, neurosis, and repression. He tells the class that that day they will be focusing on repression, and the story begins with that prologue, a story about revisiting the cause of his own repression and his endeavor to move through it. Another concept is the one of his father and their relationship. This is told sparingly yet adequately as a son with a father with whom he was not close. Even after the girl's drowning and disappearance the father can't hold his son, but can only shhhhhh him, modeling for him the precursors of repression. On the dock that the young Sam and Sylvia referred to as 'our place', young Sam removed his own name carved in the wood, not hers, after her death.

    The appearance and the reappearance of TS Elliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' is a fitting device. It's adds a mysterious element that reinforces the somewhat ethereal nature of Sam's journey through his own psyche.

    The acting was superb, and Guy Pearce inhabits his character with sublety and confidence. Helena Bonham Carter also delivers a convincing pallor-clad performance. But the more deserving of attention is the acting of the young couple. Lindley Joyner and Brooke Harmon are simply perfect as young adults in love. I belive a movie like this will succeed or fail for several reasons, one of which is the musical score. The music was appropriately atmospheric whithout being trite, and the pacing of the film was great. If you are used to, and expect, the sort of product coming out of Hollywood, you might be bored. But if a film with the potential for powerful insight and transformation interests you, this Australian movie will stay with you for days, if not longer. It is wonderfully nuanced. See it and discuss it.

    pdo
  • I just came across this film on The Movie Channel this morning. I'm home sick in bed, and there's not much else to do. Wow, am I glad I did. I don't know what other movies this writer/director has made, but believe me, I will look them up. I've only read other user reviews, and if the critics panned it, then I don't care to read theirs. Sometimes films that are not easily categorizable, get lost in the modern film market. Whether it is a ghost story, or a psychological gestalt is left up to the viewer's interpretation. I rarely come on here to post, but this film compelled me to do so. This film brought me to tears, both happy and sad. Like a beautiful poem, it unfolds slowly and heartbreakingly. The writing, direction, acting, cinematography, and score are excellent. I'm so glad I DVR'd it, because I'm watching it again. It does remind one of Bergman and some of Kurosawa's more personal films in it's intimate construction. But this filmmaker stands on his own. It haunts you and is absolutely unforgettable.
  • There are things that happen to an unfortunate few people that are so painful, so full of guilt, that recovering from it seems nearly impossible. "Till Human Voices Wake Us" tells the story of Sam Franks and his spiritual journey out of the dark and back into the light. But, who is the young woman that is helping him? Apparently, this movie did not impress very many critics. Why, I'm not sure--because it is truly a wonderful, nearly perfect story about salvation. And where that salvation actually comes from.

    I hope that Michaell Petroni will be able to make many more movies, because it would be a shame if such a talented and sensitive film maker were not able to continue.
  • I haven't seen such a beautiful movie in a while, it's tragic and it's romantic. This movie is haunting, there are some truly poignant moments of a man having to deal with and let go of a lost love. The location is beautiful, the acting is great, the cinematography and the story really takes you on a journey. It's subtle and real. It left a good impression on me. It's a superb Australian film. Credit goes to the beautiful Helena Bonham Carter who managed to pull off a convincing Australian accent! The music is good too, it really creates the mood. The dancing in the water scene was so romantic. It makes you think about the relationships you have with other people. See it if you haven't all ready!
  • I feel that the movie was a subtle ghost story, haunting only in a healing fashion. It's an ethereal experience. I'm a huge fan of Helena Bonham Carter and I notice that she often chooses projects that are character pieces. Her roles appear slow moving to others, but that I personally find intriguing, lyrical, and meditative. Guy Pearce plays the role well in this movie. The two actors that play the young Sam and Silvy did a brilliant job in my opinion. Lindley Joyner, who appears to have had only limited acting roles, understands his character well. Brooke Harmon who portrays Silvy Lewis is enchanting. The cinematography is beautiful and one pleasure of this movie is just being taken in by the dreamy visuals. This is one of my new personal favorites. But for those wanting a fast moving movie; this will not be for them. A movie only for the true romantics at heart, that believe that true love never dies.
  • A psychiatrist (Guy Pearce) attending his father's funeral in his hometown rescues a mysterious woman (Helena Bonham Carter), whose suicide attempt triggers amnesia and leads to their rediscovery of her identity. Her possible relationship to his past (told in flashbacks) forms the core of the story. Pearce's and Carter's strong performances are only a part of this subtle, yet visually gorgeous love story. Beautiful photography in a film so strongly visual and sparse of dialog gives a contemplative feeling of a style more European than Australian. Convincing performances by the young actors portraying young Sam (Lindley Joyner) and Silvy (Brooke Harman) are at least as good, if not better than those of Pearce and Carter. While not a film with everything explicitly explained, it is a beautiful story of young love, subsequent loss and rediscovery of self. Leisurely paced, subtle and full of symbolism, see it with friends or your love who can appreciate good films. My initial viewing of it as a rental DVD prompted a subsequent discussion between my wife and I greater than for any other movie we have seen in the last six months and a second viewing immediately afterwards that confirmed a decision to add it to our movie library.
  • boingo-8365513 March 2019
    10/10
    Moveing
    I've never written a movie review, here or anywhere. I felt I needed to now. I'm an action/sci-fi guy by habit, the lower brow the better. This movie is absolutely sublime, expertly directed and performed. The idea in modern cinema seems to be that true emotion is sappy. And, while I watched it 17 years after release and by accident, I felt for the characters. The idea of love and loss is older then Shakespeare, but this film made it feel fresh. Simpley, I loved it.
  • I am a big fan of both Guy Pearce and Australian cinema so I was pleased to chance upon this film recently. Pearce plays a psychologist Dr Sam Franks who is haunted by a tragic past. A chance meeting with a stranger changes his life.

    This a slow moving but engrossing story which flits back and forth from Sams childhood to the current day as we get to know what shaped him into a lonely and tortured soul. The film works equally well in both time periods as the pieces are put in place as it builds to an emotional ending.

    The acting is excellent from all parties. I'm not Helena Bonham Carters biggest fan but she does a good job in this. Also impressive are the younger actors especially Lindley Joiner as the young Sam.

    Till Human Voices Wake Us is a tragic tale of lost love and how this can deeply affect all of us. It won't appeal to everyone but for people who like well written drama this is well worth watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    *POSSIBLE MILD SPOILERS*

    This film, written and directed by newcomer Michael Petroni, takes its intriguing and poetic title from the closing lines of T. S. Eliot's `The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' (Till human voices wake us, and we drown).

    Dr. Sam Franks (Guy Pearce), a stoic and somewhat unreadable thirty-something professor of psychology, returns to his sleepy home town of Genoa in rural Australia to bury his father. On the train, he encounters a rather odd young woman named Ruby (Helena Bonham Carter), whom he later saves from a suicidal jump into a river. When she awakens with no recollection of who she is, Sam tries to help her recover her lost memory through suggestion and hypnosis, but the viewer soon realizes it is not so much her past he's bringing back as his own.

    `There are two kinds of forgetting: active and passive,' Sam teaches his students at the very beginning of the film. It isn't hard to figure out that our protagonist is a champion in the former category: repression. As he and the ethereal Ruby explore his childhood haunts, audiences are taken from the glum present back to a seemingly endless summer in his early adolescence, and to his sweetheart Silvy, the first love and soulmate he lost. Interestingly, the original Australian version followed a linear narrative, but was re-cut to a present-past flashback pattern for British and American audiences. It is unclear whether this was meant to interweave the tragic events of Sam's childhood more closely with the man he has become, or simply to feature the big-name actors at an earlier point in the movie. We do work out fairly soon that it is not Sam's father he has truly come home to bury; it is his memories and his ghosts that need to be laid to rest. It is also no great feat to figure out Ruby's true identity.

    Though this film features two accomplished and undeniably talented actors in the present-day layer of the film, what really holds it up is the brilliant performance delivered by their younger counterparts, relative unknowns Lindley Joyner and Brooke Harman. The friendship between the two characters, ranging from platonic intimacy to awkward, tremulous romance, is conveyed through as little as a shy sideward glance or a small shrug of the shoulder. The innocence with which these two carefully explore first love is somehow refreshing in its naïve wholesomeness.

    For the average moviegoer, the seemingly total absence of a plot curve and character development will make sitting through this one somewhat tedious to downright torture. This long-winded, albeit visually stunning oeuvre overburdens itself with pseudo-psychoanalysis and symbolism. If you watch this waiting for something to finally happen, you will definitely end up disappointed. Viewers be warned: this is not plot-driven movie. The pseudo-dramatic revelation is too weak to satisfy the habituated movie-goer. Petroni leaves viewers expecting a proper denouement, but fails to deliver.

    Though conveying poetry through film is a noble ambition, on the whole this film fails to do so by pretending to be more than it is, and maybe this is one heavy-handed tale that should not have been woken in the first place. However, this rambling narrative is still worth seeing, as long as it is not considered an in-depth study on loss and repression. If you can simply sit back and relax, and let the wonderful cinematography plunge you in to sun-washed, bitter-sweet memories, you will be able to enjoy this work for the flimsy, sweet-smelling haze of a film it is.
  • Regular readers know that I am studying the effects of layered narrative, and the various techniques that filmmakers exploit.

    A reader suggested this because it overlaps all sorts of things. Within the film are two overlapping realities. And both are lapped onto a specific, well known poem. And the pace of the thing is slow enough for us to steep in ambiguities. Also it has Helena, which in addition to her other charms she will always carry the honesty of Dove Wings and the layering of Fight Club.

    So this is a textbook case of what I study. But the reason I am interested is because it can be used to make films, more precisely the narrative capture in films, more effective. But this is not a very good film. Why? Because like many others, the layered mechanics is all there is. These techniques can build a skeleton that runs, but you need blood.

    No blood here. You can see that in the first few moments, or hear it. The score has that sort or wandering piano, one note at a time over mellow violins. Its dreaminess by the numbers.

    You'll find the allusion to the poem particularly blunt. It appears in the title, as a book from the past and the present, as well as something discussed.

    Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
  • Measured in coffee spoons is the pace of "Human Voices." The screenplay is meticulous, loading every word until the final unknotting. The acting, directing, cinematography are all equally exacting. The story is all on the inside, nestled in the words, and in the spaces between them. When the awakening occurs at the end, it is as if by the gentle light of the sun through the window, not by a fire alarm.

    An indie-art-film (whatever that means) must-see!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Not a fast-moving film and not truly supernatural, yet gripping in its way. If you have ever had your heart broken, this film will resonate, and perhaps even help a bit.

    It's about love, loss, grief, forgiveness, and finally acceptance. Acceptance of the loss, and forgiveness of self.

    All the performances are beautiful and spot on. The direction is patient and takes you deeply into the story. The cinematography is like one of the performances. The musical score is evocative and serves the film well.

    As a fan of movie and TV scores, I must note two things. First, while I can find no actual relationship in musical pedigree, the score evokes "Meet Joe Black", which in a way brings forth similar emotions. My second musical observation is the use of "The Skye Boat Song", used now as the main theme of "Outlander (2014- )".

    I also must note the character of Silvie's dad, Maurie Lewis. He doesn't have a lot of screen time, but he's still central to the arc of life, love and forgiveness. His implied and generous forgiveness of young Sam as having any responsibility for Silvie's fate certainly must play a huge role in Sam's forgiveness of himself, though it takes another 20 years.

    I gave the film an 8 mainly because it plants questions that are never answered. What is the significance of old Mrs. Shaw, her dreams and her sleep signing, aside from the later callback? Whose grave did adult Sam place a stone upon since its implied that it could not be Silvie's and clearly was not his dad's? Was Silvie's fate accidental or somehow intentional?

    These unanswered questions are not trivial, but the heart of this story still leaves one affected and introspective.

    If it's your kind of movie, it accomplishes what it sets out to do.
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