- Actors: Gary Cole, Eleanor Braddock
- Directors: Andrew Shea
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: 15
- Studio: Boulevard Entertaiment
- DVD Release Date: 2 April 2007
- Run Time: 90 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- ASIN: B000OCYE92
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,315 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Santa Fe [DVD] 
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Eight months after Paul escaped with his wife and daughter from the besieged Lawrence Culpepper cult in Cheyenne, after saving the lives of several children and sustaining gunshot wounds in a daring rescue bid Paul returns to his job as a police officer in Santa Fe. His family life in tatters, Paul struggles to come to terms with his wifes new relationship with Dan - a New Age type who runs the World Peace Acupuncture Clinic. Suspicious of Dans true intentions, Paul decides to join his family at a Labor Day weekend retreat run by Eleanor Braddock the leader of a New Age self-help cult. Paul is wary of Eleanor at first as she represents all he seeks to remove himself from, but he ends up falling for her. A romance ensues. Paul becomes a fanatical follower of Eleanor and she becomes disturbed by his unstable behaviour and breaks off their steamy relationship. His sanity already in the balance Paul has a nervous breakdown. Is everything as Paul really sees it, or has his past finally caught up with him as his mind begins to distort and play tricks on him.
Top Customer Reviews
His family life in tatters paul struggles to come to terms with his wifes new relationship with dan - a new age type who runs the world peace acupuncture clinic.Suspicious of dans true intentions paul decides to join his family at a labour day weekend retreat run by eleanor braddock the leader of a new age elf help cult.
Wary at first he ends up falling for her but she ends it after displays of unstable behaviour.He has alot to deal with .How do things end!
I bought this as i am a fan of gary cole ,who seems to have had a fun time playing his character.Ok the acting is not top stuff but my side is still sore from all the laughing i did at certain scenes especially at the retreat weekend ,don't want spoil for you by telling you them all.Even his therapistwho is helping him to adjust to the world is deaf , which again causes some laughs.It is not a romantic film I made my brother watch it one night when he was bored and he found it dead funny as well.If you need a laugh enjoy this comical at times
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In "Santa Fe", Cole plays Paul Thomas. Thomas plays a Santa Fe police officer who has an an obsessive interest in cults. At the start of the movie we learn that Thomas, his wife Lea (played by Sheila Kelley) and daughter Crystal (played by Tina Majorino) have escaped from a cult that became way too over the line (dangerous). Thomas had helped Lea and Crystal escape, but was wounded himself by gunfire as he tried to escape. A mass killing occurred at the cult and Thomas was the lone survivor. During his time in rehabilitation, his life changed. He was suspended from the police force, his wife Lea left him for a New Age Chiropractor named Dan Yates (played brilliantly by Jere Burns), and most importantly he realized he had an addiction to these cult-like organizations. Upon returning to Santa Fe, Thomas tries to get his life in order. This includes rebuilding his relationship with daughter Crystal and getting back on the police force. With some help from his City Councilwoman sister Nancy (played by Pamela Reed), Thomas is reinstated and although he is assigned to a menial desk job, he seeks to go after many of Santa Fe's "charlatan-like" characters who he feels are cult-like figures. This hits home immediately when Dan and Lea get Crystal involved with a New Age guru named Eleanor Braddock (played by Lolita Davidovich). Immediately Thomas suspects that Eleanor is a charlatan and seeks to get her out of his daughter's life. While trying to pry Eleanor out of Crystal's life, he begins to get close to Eleanor and falls for her. The movie begins to unfold as Thomas struggles walking a fine line trying to determine if he really is in love with Eleanor or in love with her ideas. In particular while Thomas begins to struggle with himself - we also see Eleanor doing the same.
The amazing thing is - on top of a very good story and a very good screenplay, we the city of Santa Fe play prominently into the movie. Not only does is the movie filmed on location, but there are many concepts that are prominent in Santa Fe that are also explored. These the concepts include: ethnic tensions (namely with the large Hispanic makeup of the city). gang violence, the idea of Santa Fe being a lightning rod to many of these New Age philosophies, and the concept of Santa Fe being a home to many Hollywood "outsiders". The nice thing is that the screenplay does a terrific job at integrating these concepts into the storyline. Most notably, there is an interesting storyline involving Thomas' sister Nancy trying to unseat the fictional Mayor of Santa Fe in a run-off election. This subplot will play a role in the overall story.
Ultimately, this is going to be Cole's movie from start to finish. The character of Paul Thomas really gives Cole a chance to shine. Cole provides some comedic moments throughout the film - whether it is running into a tree blindfolded or executing his witty sense of humor. At the same time, we see Cole's able to develop his character of Paul Thomas throughout the movie. He is also given a very good female presence in Lolita Davidovich who plays Eleanor There is definite on-screen chemistry between the two.
Another interesting wrinkle to the film is the inclusion of Phyllis Frelich playing Thomas' psychiatrist, Dr. Ginsburg. As a part of his condition to return to the police force, Thomas had to agree to counseling sessions. Dr. Ginsburg is deaf and needs to communicate with Thomas through the use of a translator who understands sign language. For those who aren't familiar with Frelich's work - she is deaf in real life. The use of a deaf character definitely adds a sense of realism to the movie, but also gives it another dimension. Cole isn't the only character who is going to provide comedic relief. It is Frelich's character of Dr. Ginsburg that will provide some humorous moments.
Perhaps the only bad part of the movie is a lame dream sequence involving Paul and Dan Yates in which Paul loses part of his tongue. I thought the scene was pretty bad and not necessary.
I thought the ending of the movie was very good. The ending wasn't predictable and I was very satisfied - even though part of me wanted this movie to go on even longer. The nice thing is the movie will keep you entertained from start to finish. Even though this was an Independent film, I'm very surprised this movie has not garnered more attention than it did. While Cole does a great job in the movie, this movie was terrific top to bottom - highly recommended.
Gary Cole plays Paul Thomas, a former cop who left the force when he, along with his wife and daughter, joined a David Koresh-type cult in Wyoming. We see flashbacks of him saving a few lives before getting shot and wounded. When he returns to Santa Fe to pick up where he left off, seeking his old job back, people are naturally suspicious of him. He disappointed some street thugs who really did look forward to their Saturday "midnight basketball" games (did that program really work?). He's required to attend therapy sessions with a deaf woman who communicates quite expressively through sign language and one big reason I love this film. His cop partner finds amusing ways to get him out of a session early.
Lolita Davidovich plays Eleanor in a spot on resemblance of writer Marianne Williamson. Paul thinks Eleanor is just another cult leader, even though his ex-wife and daughter think she's great. She has retreats at her very artsy house and gives lectures, and is often hounded by gushing autograph seekers. What we learn is that she's just communicating what is basic info that everyone should know, and she feels guilty about it. She's not the one who views herself as a guru to be worshipped and admired, and such devotion among fans leads to her breakdown. That's where the film is weakest...because I wanted to see more of her and why people think she's a cult leader. I certainly didn't get that sense (nor do I think Marianne Williamson or Deepak Chopra are cult leaders...they are just writing about basic info and caught the celebrity trend mobile that ultimately makes their message/books cheesy). Paul falls in love with Eleanor and we (the viewers) don't know if its authentic love or groupie love, as it seems more like the latter. The resolution comes about too quickly and I certainly would have liked to have seen more. I got the sense that some scenes were deleted, possibly for time considerations, but with a film like this, I was never bored once, so I could've enjoyed another 30 minutes to get a clearer idea about what this film is ultimately about. Its certainly not what the description makes it out to be and that's a relief. Its not a cheesy film. Its high quality on a low budget, and I recommend seeing it and owning it if you like it. If anything, it makes a nice video souvenir of Santa Fe.
It was shot in Santa Fe and captures the quirky New Age-type community there better than any movie I've seen with humor and insight. I was in some New age groups in my 20s and found them interesting but too intense and unpractical for me.
I also related well to the main character's search for meaning and his work with midnight basketball leagues - I helped with some of the latter and still coach youth basketball.
Finally, I think Gary Cole and Lolita Davidovich are underrated actors who deserve to be seen more widely.