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At First Sight movie review

At First Sight

Architect Amy Benic falls in love with a blind masseur and convinces him to undergo experimental surgery. Based on Awakenings and An Anthropologist on Marsdocumented by physician and author Oliver Sacks.

Yes, boys and girls, another film Based on a True Story.

We take for granted the mechanism by which we see. We know that our brains are constantly working, filtering memories and images and sounds, although most of us don't really think about how much work we do. It's part of the unconscious competence that we develop as children.

Movie Poster, At First Sight, Festivale film reviews; atfirstsight.jpg - 19777 Bytes
Movie Poster, At First Sight
For Virgil Adamson, who lost his sight in his first year, the skills that we use to interpret what we see were never developed. When he became one of the very few who gained eyesight as adults, he was confronted by horrible, painful, and confusing images. He had to learn how to see.
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Movie still, Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino in At First Sight, Festivale film reviews section; atfirstsight1.jpg - 11860 Bytes
Movie still, Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino in At First Sight, Festivale film reviews section;

Virgil's life is complicated by his new relationship with Amy, his redefined relationship with the sister who helped raise him, and by his discovery that he must now learn to read and write.

Virgil's sightlessness was not the burden that it seemed to others, and his independence as a blind man involved many skills that he know had to unlearn. This required evaluating his abilities, and knowing which to keep and which to discard. In some ways, being sightless made him better. Amy notes, "He touches me -- to know me better -- not to get something from me." Would seeing make his less of a lover?

He is helped in his quest by Phil Webster (Nathan Lane), who offers good sensible advice.
Webster is loosely based on Oliver Sacks who works at a school for the blind, helping children to develop the motor and educational skills that will enable them to function in the sighted world.
Movie Still; Nathan Lane and Val Kilmer in At First Sight; Festivale film reviews; atfirstsight2.jpg - 15265 Bytes

"People, blind all their lives and then suddenly given sight, have not been able to deal with their new lives," says directory Irwin Winkler. "Some of the cases ended in suicide, some just preferred never to see. The emotional change that Virgil goes though throughout the course of our story is startling.
The interesting contrast is that here is a blind man who you would think is so afflicted that he wouldn't be happy, who is very, very happy. And here is a woman who is very attractive and lives in New York and has a very successful career, who you think would be happy, but who isn't satisfied with her own life."

Like many films, whether you enjoy At First Sight or not will depend more on what you bring to it than on the film itself.

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See also:
Val Kilmer also appears in The Prince of Egypt, The Saint, The Ghost and the Darkness
Mira Sorvino also appears in Mighty Aphrodite, Mimic, The Replacement Killers and The Summer of Sam
Kelly McGillis also appears in Witness, Top Gun

For credits and official site details, click here.
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Send your comments or review Check out what's happening in Reel LifeNathan Lane also appears in The Birdcage, Isn't She Great, He Said, She Said
Steven Weber also appears in Single White Female
Bruce Davison also appears in Paulie, Apt Pupil, Grace of My Heart
Irwin Winkler also produced Rocky and The Right Stuff and directed The Net
Due for Australian release May 1999

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Just the facts:

Title: At First Sight (1998)
Written by: Based on An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks
Directed by: Irwin Winkler
Produced by: Irwin Winkler, Rob Cowan
Edited by: Julie Monroe
Director of Photography: John Seale
running time: 129
rating: M

The Players: Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino, Kelly McGillis, Steven Weber, Nathan Lane, Bruce Davidson, Ken Howard
Official website: www.mgm.com/atfirstsight
For session times of current films, use the cinema listings on the Movie links page. For scheduled release dates, see the coming attractions section.

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Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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: Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia : copyright © Festivale 1998 All rights reserved
Filed: 28-Nov-1998 : Last updated: Apr-1999 : Last tested: 19-Jan-2009 : Last Compiled: 08-Aug-2014
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