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NEW Felicia's Journey (DVD)
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Top Customer Reviews
Hoskins plays Hildich with a quiet intensity that is both creepy, scary, but never less than sympathetic. I often felt that he needed rescuing as much as Felicia. The scenes where Hildich, who is ironically a catering manager, watches old videos of his mother, a famous French television chef, preparing one of her famous recipes while he follows along are by turns funny and nauseating. Norman Bates would probably identify with Hildich. Thrown into the mix is a Bible carrying rescue worker and missionary who promises peace in the great hereafter to those who would only just believe. In the end her naive message save no one, not even the hapless Hilich.
There is a haunting and beautiful melody played throughout the film called "The Faith In The Heart Of A Child" which gives the simple message that if only children were more loved and respected for themselves there would be no need to rescue them when they become lonely, screwed up and loveless adults.
As Joe, a man whose facade conceals some dreadful secrets, Bob Hoskins is awesome. He seems so innocent and well-meaning until you notice how quickly the look in his eyes can go from benign to malignant. Elaine Cassidy is just about perfect as Felicia, the young girl. She gives her dignity and purpose, portraying her as a good girl who doesn't have a clue as to how to deal with her problems. She lets Joe lure her in, not because she is stupid, but because she is innocent and unworldly.
This is not a commercial movie. One of the main reasons is that Joe is not an over-the-top villain. He is all too similar to lots of people we see every day. He does appear to be a bit furtive and secretive at times, but not so much so that anyone would suspect his dreadful other side. He is not over there in some special place we pretend madmen live in. He's just the nice man who lives next door. We can't distance ourselves from him easily, and that's an uncomfortable feeling. We are much more at home with the likes of Hannibal Lecter, who safely exists only in a book or a movie.
Despite its faults, "Felicia's Journey is much better than the average thriller, in particular because its images stick with you long after you've seen it.
Since I have not read the novel the movie is based on, I can't comment on how the two compare.
That being said, there are a lot of good things about this film. The cast is superb -- Elaine Cassidy is perfect as Felicia, and a better choice than Bob Hoskins as Mr. Hilditch I can't imagine. Both of them turn in memorable performances here.
The thing that makes it impossible for me to give this film a higher recommendation is Egoyan's inexplicable urge to add elements to Trevor's story. Without writing a 'spoiler' review, I'll just mention that the entire 'videotape' take on Hilditch's 'memory lane', as well as the cooking videos he watches are products of Egoyan's imagination -- they were not present in the novel, and it certainly didn't lack for their non-existence. It annoys me that Egoyan couldn't leave well enough alone -- and it makes me wonder if he succumbs to this temptation with every film he's done. I'm about to read Russell Banks' novel 'The sweet hereafter' to find out...
Most recent customer reviews
Memorable for Bob Hoskins' unforgettable portrayal of this twisted yet strangely sympathetic character.Published 3 months ago by -
I've got no quarrel with people who don't attach to downbeat films with characters they can't relate to. They won't like this film. Read morePublished on March 20 2002 by ethan100
The Sweet Hereafter is Egoyan's best movie so far. There's no doubt about it. However it's unfair for some people trying to compare Felicia's Journey with the Sweet Hereafter as... Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2001 by Leung Pak Keung
As a real Egoyan fan it was hard to wait for his next one: and there it was, Felicia's Journey, a truly good story located in a grey and dusky ambience! Read morePublished on Sept. 5 2001
Egoyan's works deal with how we, as humans, deal with the loss of something sacred. In "Exotica", how does on deal with the death of a child, innocence, or a lover? Read morePublished on Jan. 29 2001
I don't write reviews too often, but I want to save you some time. The fact that the Amazon review above even mentions Alfred Hitchcock in the same paragraph with this movie is... Read morePublished on Dec 9 2000 by Gregory D. Norgaard
Okay let's see, a girl goes across sea to find her boyfriend, meets an older man while walking on the street, then get's in his car and let's him drive her across town after only... Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2000 by Melissa
For the first four-fifths of this movie, it was one of the creepiest, scariest films I've ever seen. Read morePublished on Aug. 16 2000 by Anthony Damato