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Felicia's Journey [DVD] [1999]

Bob Hoskins , Arsinée Khanjian , Atom Egoyan    DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Bob Hoskins, Arsinée Khanjian, Elaine Cassidy, Sheila Reid, Nizwar Karanj
  • Directors: Atom Egoyan
  • Writers: Atom Egoyan, William Trevor
  • Producers: Bruce Davey, Karen Glasser, Paul Tucker, Ralph Kamp, Robert Lantos
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005AKTP
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 464,073 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Like Hitchcock, Atom Egoyan envisions family life as a potential hotbed of literal or figurative violence and incest. In Felicia's Journey, Egoyan's adaptation of William Trevor's shattering novel, one dreads to imagine what TV-cook mom (Arsinée Khanjian) did to so damage her pudgy son that grown-up Hilditch (Bob Hoskins) still prepares meals in perfect unison with faded videotapes of her show--and, as we eventually discover, often takes more sinister trips down Memory Lane. Distant kin to Psycho's Tony Perkins, Hoskins's troll is so obsessive, so traumatised, his every short-armed, fat-handed gesture and sing-song utterance is precisely calculated to keep reality safely buried.

Egoyan's movies often seem located underwater, in some surreal dreamscape where one's breath is perpetually suspended while a slow horror seeps ever deeper under the skin. Helpless, transfixed, one watches as his characters drive inexorably toward mined intersections where lives and souls may be lost or redeemed. When Hilditch's path crosses, diverges from and finally coincides with that of young, pregnant Felicia (Elaine Cassidy)--an Irish innocent searching for her errant boyfriend--it leads to terrible epiphany for these fellow travellers. Trouble is, creepy Hilditch and too-naive Felicia come up a bit short in the psychological complexity department, so by film's end, revelatory payoffs are mostly penny ante. Felica's Journey tours familiar Egoyan territory--an industrialised wasteland full of hungry hearts--but this latest fairy tale (think perverse variations on Hansel and Gretel) isn't in the same league with such "family values" masterpieces as Exotica or The Sweet Hereafter. --Kathleen Murphy,

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This film is, I must admit, my introduction to Egoyan's works. He is a director who comes highly recommended by a friend whose taste in films I admire.
There is, indeed, much to admire about Felicia's Journey. The cinematography is excellent, with many memorable frames. One that particularly sticks in my mind is a shot of a nuclear power plant, brilliantly photographed, that captures the emptiness of the landscape, as well as being a harbinger and symbol of the roiling emotions that lay beneath the surface of the main character's (Hilditch's)calm exterior. There are many such nuances in the film. Egoyan is clearly a director with a sure hand.
We know from the outset of the film that there is something not quite right about Hilditch (Bob Hoskins). What makes the character interesting and keeps us in suspense for a time, is that the character can go either way. Early on, it looks as if he may just be a mild mannered eccentric who has a compulsion about the proper preperation of food. We see him comically standing at the prep table in his elaborate home kitchen, carefully mimicing the step by step instructions of a rather ditzy French Lady Chef on a small screen TV.
The same is true of Felicia (Elaine Cassidy), who arrives at the customs desk in England, having come over by ferry from N Ireland. She is the ultimate rube, not even realizing that Northern Ireland is part of the UK, when the customs officer explains that that is why she doesn't need a passport. We are set up to expect very little out of naive, lost-girl Felicia.
The first indicator that something is not right with Hilditch is conveyed very subtly.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Sweet Hereafter is such a first-rate movie that I wanted to take another look at this one, which Egoyan made two years later. It's not in the same league as Hereafter, but it is an excellent, disturbing movie.

Bob Hoskins plays Joseph Hilditch, who runs a big kitchen operation to feed the employees of a factory. At night he cooks elaborate dinners in his own gadget-filled kitchen while watching old video tapes of a cooking show. The star of the show had been his mother, an enveloping presence who completely dominated young Joey. Then he eats his meals alone, listening to Mantovani and other standbys of the Fifties. He also occasionally helps out young women when they are in distress.

Felicia (Elaine Cassidy) has come to his city from Ireland to look for her lover, who left to find a better job and promised to write regularly. He never wrote and she found herself pregnant.

They meet. He takes her in. Through flashbacks and circumstance we learn that Hilditch is a disturbed and violent individual. The movie sets all this up in an uneasy, quiet, almost sympathetic way, and then deals with how these two deal with each other.

This isn't some sort of murder or horror story; Hoskins doesn't jump out of closets. It's about two damaged people in which more damage can happen. I liked it a lot.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars presented in 1,33:1 5 Oct 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
the back cover states the aspect ratio as 2,35:1 (that's in fact how the film was shot), while the film itself is presented in 4:3. It's only the first three minutes (credits opening sequence), when you can admire the original aspect ratio. After that the DVD turns to heavily "censored" 1,33:1 throughout the movie.
I mean: this is not a talk show, this is a piece of art by the highly respected Atom Egoyan...
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a superb film, especially when seen the way it was intended to be seen.

The low rating is for the item itself not the film and is intended to provide information for potential buyers in the belief that it may materially affect their decision to purchase said item.

Unfortunately for this purchaser the DVD I ordered turned out to be presented in the severely cropped 4:3 format despite being clearly labelled Widescreen on the back cover.

Disappointed, I raised the issue with customer service and they were great about it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good revision aid 6 Jun 2011
I bought this DVD as my daughter is studying this book for her English GCSE. It is not the most inspiring text and she was finding it very difficult to relate to the story. The DVD is a fairly accurate version of the book although it deviates slightly at the end (I read the book as well to try and help my daughter understand it!). Anyway having a visual representation of the story has certainly helped her to empathise with the characters and, of course, Bob Hoskins is a wonderful actor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At the end everything becomes uncertain. 14 Feb 2010
If you like the language of 'cinema', pictures over dialogue, albeit there is plenty of words hiding a secret, then this movie is your cup of tea. The story lies under the skin and conveys its emotions so delicately and threatening Hitchcock couldn't have done it better. At the end of this (internal) journey each and every detail becomes a weighing element on the balance of fiction and reality. Egoyan shows again to be a master of mysterious 'plays'.
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