starring Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Alice Braga, Gael García Bernal
screenplay by Don McKellar, based on the novel by José Saramago
directed by Fernando Meirelles
starring Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Billy Bob Thornton
screenplay by John Glenn & Travis Adam Wright and Hillary Seitz and Dan McDermott
directed by D.J. Caruso
by Walter Chaw Brazilian wunderkind Fernando Meirelles has the one-trick pony and he's beaten its corpse for all the slickefied, electrified, vaguely exploitive prestige pieces he's made his calling card since City of God exploded into the loving arms of the arthouse. His latest, Blindness, feels like just another stroll down the same moralizing path as the residents of some generic city go blind, with only the bleary, red-rimmed eyes of Julianne Moore left as the moral barometer and literal/spiritual guide. And like his stable of reliable steeds, Blindness reveals itself at the end as having nothing much to say beyond the Lord of the Flies truism that men left to their own devices are no better than animals. Moore's an unnamed dingbat housewife fond of drinking a little too much wine and tittering around the limited orbit of her optometrist husband (Mark Ruffalo). When The Doctor (none of the characters have names, because the movie is profound) encounters a Patient (Yusuke Iseya) who has gone spontaneously blind, it's not long before the typical end-of-times plague starts the high-concept hullabaloo in earnest. Soon, The Doctor and The Wife find themselves in the Spooky Deserted Hospital that The City uses as The Quarantine Ward, though more literary-minded viewers will choose to refer to it as The Microcosm.