starring Laura Linney, Topher Grace, Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden
screenplay by Helen Schulman and Dylan Kidd, based on the novel by Helen Schulman
directed by Dylan Kidd
****/**** Image A Sound A
starring Nicole Kidman, Cameron Bright, Danny Huston, Lauren Bacall
screenplay by Jean-Claude Carrière, Milo Addica, Jonathan Glazer
directed by Jonathan Glazer
by Walter Chaw Second chances, erasing memories, manipulating perception--films this year like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Code 46, The Forgotten, The Manchurian Candidate, The Village, The Butterfly Effect, Before Sunset, 50 First Dates, The Final Cut, and so on suggest a collective desire to wash the slate clean, put on blinkers, and regain a little of that sweet, blithe ignorance of the day before yesterday. It's never as easy as all that, of course, since things have a tendency of coming back--and when an artifact of the past intrudes on the present it carries with it (along with all those memories of green) an aggressive payload of unexpected reactions. You can never go home again, nor can home ever return to you. Nevertheless, it tries to in a pair of films, two sophomore efforts, as it happens: Dylan Kidd's p.s. and Jonathan Glazer's Birth. Curiously, just the idea of the first film after a triumphant debut is tangled with the desire to recapture a little of the magic of the past.