k-pax.jpg  Watched a great movie last night.  One of those rare, heart-lifting stories without the usual Hollywood overstating.  And it starred a favourite actor of mine – Kevin Spacey.  Also starred Jeff Bridges who usually irritates me but he was superb in this film.  His acting in this film kind of reminded me of the brilliant William Hurt (must recommend The Doctor and The Accidental Tourist both starring Hurt).

Anyway, to summarise, the film is about a Pyschiatrist (Bridges) whose patient (Spacey) says he is from a distant planet.

It’s a quiet film.  Clever and sensitively made, and it manages the mental health issue with a compassonate and gentle respect.  And the clever thing is that at the end  [SPOILER!!] although there is a human and very tragic explanation as to why Prot (Spacey) believes he is an alien from another planet, the film also leaves us with a touch of unexplained magical mystery.  Not in one of those deeply annoying ways where we’re left thinking, “well is that it?”.  But in a sort of, “ah yes, didn’t expect that but glad it happened like that” kind of way.

Really super film.  The best I’ve seen in a long time.  This review sums up my own thoughts about the film perfectly.


5 responses to this post.

  1. It is not a very good portrayal of mental health issues. The psychiatrist kept playing into his delusion, which is something you do not do if someone is delusional. It is however, a good representation of post tramatic stress disorder.


  2. I think it is hard to define a set code of pracitice when dealing with mental health issues. What may work for one person could be the worst thing you can do to another. It is movies like this that allow a more compassionate and better understanding of people with mental health issues. These people are usually shunned but they are the ones that need support the most.


  3. Hi Jebus.

    Yes…the psychiatrist/patient relationship may not have been accurately represented but I’m not sure that this was the films intentions anyway. The psychiatrist allowed his patient to make him doubt himself to the point were he was actually wondering if it was possible that he really could be an alien being. Again unlikely to happen in real life. But that’s what made the film so intriguing.

    The film did handle mental health sensitively in that it portrayed the resident patients at the psychiatric unit with compassion and dignity.


  4. Good point Pocket and very true. Thanks.

    I don’t think the film meant to give a fully accurate insight into mental health. Just a compassionate story about a guy with a mental health problem set in an intriguing and very clever thriller. Again, the mental health aspect of the film was handled with respectful compassion.


  5. I read the book of this a few years ago and really enjoyed it. The ending in the book is left open, you don’t actually know if the patient is an alien or delusional. I always meant to see this film, I like both Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey.


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