Spalding Gray's death has left us poorer than when we started. How evident this is after viewing this edgy, moving, often riotous monologue directed by Stephen Soderbergh.
A macular "pucker" leaves Gray virtually blind in one eye. Born into Christian Science, Gray leaves the church when his CS practitioner demands he renounce allopathic medicine to receive help. Gray's breathless journeys through alternative healing remind us that we all face mortality at any cost, and that no religious or philosopical system will spare us the inevitability of suffering or dying.
What I loved most about this film were Gray's frequent outbursts of humor -- framed in frustration, delivered in sentences which resonate like poetry in the mind, this guy rages -- quite literally -- against the dying of the light. And I would add that this is a film best viewed late at night.
While Soderbergh's direction is occasionally heavy-handed and self- conscious, it is still creative and ambitious and will never disqualify this film from classic status.
The movie doesn't benefit from the opening montage of "eye horror stories" delivered by subjects who almost lost their sight, and who occasionally make an unwelcome visit into Gray's monologue. Happily, Gray gets 'round them.
The man had a brilliant, brilliant mind and a great heart. Watch this, and the only thing you risk is awareness of his absence, and it is a sad feeling.
I just loved this movie, or should I say: I loved this mirror.