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Top Customer Reviews
While dry, Gray's humor keeps you laughing out loud. You'll find it mesmerizing, and at the end of your own journey through the film, changed for the better. Highly recommended.
A macular "pucker" leaves Gray virtually blind in one eye. Born into Christian Science, Gray leaves the church when his CS practitioner demands he renounce allopathic medicine to receive help. Gray's breathless journeys through alternative healing remind us that we all face mortality at any cost, and that no religious or philosopical system will spare us the inevitability of suffering or dying.
What I loved most about this film were Gray's frequent outbursts of humor -- framed in frustration, delivered in sentences which resonate like poetry in the mind, this guy rages -- quite literally -- against the dying of the light. And I would add that this is a film best viewed late at night.
While Soderbergh's direction is occasionally heavy-handed and self- conscious, it is still creative and ambitious and will never disqualify this film from classic status.
The movie doesn't benefit from the opening montage of "eye horror stories" delivered by subjects who almost lost their sight, and who occasionally make an unwelcome visit into Gray's monologue. Happily, Gray gets 'round them.
The man had a brilliant, brilliant mind and a great heart. Watch this, and the only thing you risk is awareness of his absence, and it is a sad feeling.
I just loved this movie, or should I say: I loved this mirror.
I don't know where a few of the other reviewers were coming from with their critical comments, but let me make a few things clear: (1) the cutting to comments from other people in the film took up no more than about 10 minutes, were well-timed, and made for a nice change of pace, (2) there was only one instance of profanity that I remember, and that one line added much to the telling of the story, and (3)Soderbergh's use of lighting and different camera angles created a beautiful flow to the film, often softening the frantic style of Gray's presentation. It certainly did not detract from the impact of the film. A few times he used a fuzzy or distorted view to create a bit of brilliant irony as Gray discussed his neuroses about losing his eyesight.
That I prefer Swimming to Cambodia is not too much of a criticism as Gray's Anatomy has a lot going for it.
The whole thing is carried by Spalding's energy, wit and charisma and if the stylistic, visual tropes detract from Spalding's natural performance they are at least imaginatively conceived.
I liked the vox pops inserts, but (having read the book version) I was dismayed that their addition seemed to mean that a whole chunk of the monologue was ommited (Gray's marriage to Renee).
However, on the basis of Grays Anatomy and Swimming to Cambodia (I have Monster in a box on order) I wish more of his monologues were filmed - one a year would do me fine.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you enjoyed "Swimming to Cambodia", then you will enjoy this film also. If you haven't scene "Swimming to Cambodia" buy this but watch "Swimming to Cambodia" first.Published on September 1, 2005 by Conor J. Murphy
I had seen a brief bit of this when I was younger and always wondered what movie that was where a guy just sits there talking to a camera. Read morePublished on December 2, 2003 by Michael Kaiser
entertaining, well fleshed out with the stories of other patients - Spalding Gray at his best.Published on September 10, 2003 by Linda R. Petrilli
This is the story of a very neurotic man who can't cope with having something wrong with his eye. I loved this movie. Spalding Gray is funny, smart, insightful, and full of angst. Read morePublished on September 7, 2002
Steven Soderbergh apparently had no faith in Gray's storytelling skills, so you get 30 minutes of Gray, and 30 minutes of videotape of some people commenting on him. Read morePublished on August 2, 2000 by Jonah Falcon
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