Review of The Sensation of Sight at the Ashland Film Festival

Image of poster for Sensation of Sight with David Strathairn

I feel bad for what I’m about to say…but I didn’t like it.   I wanted to like it.   I feel like I should have liked it.   I even went online to see if others liked it, which they clearly did.   But something about this film just didn’t click for me.

The film is written and directed by Aaron Wiederspahn and stars David Strathairn.   Strathairn play Finn, a former teacher who is working through a tragedy that he feels responsible for.   Throughout following Finn on his journey through crises, we meet other characters who Finn touches in his own way.   Dylan (Daniel Gillies), a former student with a grudge and family problems of his own.   Alice (Jane Adams), a single mom dealing with a separation.   Daisy (Elisabeth Waterston) and Tucker (Scott Wilson), a daughter and father dealing with their own loss.

The above cast does a phenomenal job.   There is not a weak link in this ensemble, right down to the children (Cassidy Hinkle and Tony Swingle).   David Strathairn does an amazing job with the complex role of Finn.   He pulls of the persona of someone who is troubled and confused, by exceptionally intelligent.   And even though the character is obviously having problems, he never slips over to insane.   It was exceptionally well done.

Ian Somerhalder plays a large part in this film.   Somerhalder is mostly known for his role on the ABC show Lost, but despite the insistence of everyone around me, I don’t watch Lost.   But I was really impressed with him on HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me.   After watching this I am certain that Ian Somerhalder is going to be a very big star.   He holds his own in a very emotional scene with Strathairn, and really has a star moment in his scene with Tony Swingle.

Another great talent in this film is Jane Adams.   I remember thinking last year after Little Children that Jane Adams is an actress that never seems to have that lead, but always does an amazing job.   I know some actors are made to support, and there is no doubt that Adams has been an important member to many ensemble casts.   But I would really like to see her in a starring role.

The Sensation of Sight also stars Elisabeth Waterston, whom I had never seen before.   I wasn’t aware until I checked IMDB that she was Sam Waterston’s daughter.   Waterston really pops off the screen in this film.   She has as scene where she is helping her father shave, and it’s in my opinion the most natural interaction of the film.   I’m certain we’re going to see some great work from her in the future.

So with all the great performances why didn’t I like the film?   I don’t know.   It’s just one of those films that seem to not pull together for me.   It ends with an oh, I get it now? moment, but it feels like more of a device that was meant to hold my interest.   I can see why people would really like this movie, I just can’t say that I did.

I genuinely feel bad for not liking this film, so I’m including a link to a second opinion.   Personally I would give this film a 3 out of 5.

[tags]sensation of sight, ashland film festival, david strathairn, Ian Somerhalder, Elisabeth Waterston, Jane Adams[tags]

Leave a Reply