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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fearless (1993)

After surviving a deadly plane crash, an architect (Jeff Bridges) undergoes a transformation. Having survived death, he feels invincible and reaches out to another survivor (Rosie Perez in an Oscar nominated performance) whose infant died in the crash. But is this feeling of impregnability a symptom of something deeper? Survivor guilt? A mask that hides unresolved fears? Based on the novel by Rafael Yglesias, who also did the screenplay, this is a powerful piece of film making. The director Peter Weir (YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY) does a bang up job of balancing the more spiritual (for lack of a better word) elements with the realities of a genuinely traumatic experience. Is there a more fearless (no pun intended) actor than Jeff Bridges? I've been re-watching a lot of his work this past few weeks and I'm continually amazed at his commitment and risk taking as an actor. But perhaps the film belongs to Perez in a heart wrenching performance that's unforgettable. Beautifully put together by Weir and his team of editors (William Anderson, Lee Smith, Armen Minasian), this ranks as one of the best films of the 1990s. Maurice Jarre did the underscore but the best uses of music in the film are by contemporary classical composers. With Isabella Rossellini (very good) as Bridges' wife, John Turturro, Benecio Del Toro, Debra Monk and as an unapologetic shameless ambulance chaser, Tom Hulce (AMADEUS).

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