14 February 2006 | steve-2576
Yes, it's a terrific film... and may be Kirk Douglas' last one
Are the highlights of our lives inscribed in a great "Book of Life?" What kind of impact do our actions (and inactions) have on others' lives? Can we redeem the past with good works in the present? Can a movie that takes on these deep questions be captivating, entertaining and inspiring
all at once? In his new film, Illusion, director/writer/co-star Michael Goorjian answers these questions with an emphatic yes! Illusion is a love story pairing Christopher Baines (Goorjian) with Isabelle (Karen Tucker) in a dance of thwarted intentions. But it's Christopher's father, Donald, played by the legendary Kirk Douglas in a luminous performance, who may hold the key to their future. Donald, on his deathbed, regrets having forgone love in his life for the sake of his career, his biggest regret being the abandonment of Christopher, his illegitimate son, 30 years earlier. With some "magical" help from Stan (Ron Marasco), a long- deceased favorite film editor, Donald is shown three films -- three visions -- each representing a different period of Christopher's life, each reflecting the impact of his abandonment. In a romantic homage to Capra's classic It's A Wonderful Life, Goorjian masterfully leads us through the yearnings, the dangers and pathos, and the possibilities for redemption that we all face. This is terrific storytelling, a drama of life, love and death, with a tone and texture that lead us all to question, how real and immutable is this life we lead, and how much of it is just a fable, a dream, an Illusion? A treat for heart and soul.