The Healer

"Good"

The Healer Review


Looking to go to bed depressed, moping, and on the verge of suicidal? Look no farther than The Healer, a pedigreed movie with such a dark core than it's no mystery it never merited a theatrical release of any consequence. (The original title, Julie Walking Home, couldn't have helped either.)

Canadian Julie (Miranda Otto) returns home from a trip with her two twin children, only to find husband Henry (William Fichtner) in bed with another woman. Like that, her marriage is ruined. Days later, she discovers her son (Ryan Smith) has cancer. Soon after that, we learn he's allergic to the chemotherapy. Julie just can't catch a break. Julie hears about a faith healer in Poland and decides to take her son there to get some healin'. (Why Poland? Could have something to do with writer/director Agnieszka Holland (Oscar nominated for Europa Europa in 1992), who hails from the country.)

Once in Poland, Julie develops a fondness for Alexei the healer (a questionably charismatic Lothair Bluteau), who heals people for free in improptu sideshow appearances. How likely is that? Well, about as likely as the rest of the story, which has Alexei returning to Canada with Julie for the final act of the film.

The problem with The Healer isn't just that it's absurd, but that it doesn't contain a grain of happiness or, really, anything uplifting at all. The film ends with nothing resolved and little hope for the characters. We have nothing to do but try to expunge the memory of the film from our mind.

Fortunately, Otto is a lovely and talented actress (recalling a more accessible Cate Blanchett), and her charisma keeps the film going for long stretches at a time. Time, incidentally, passes in slow motion in The Healer -- it's 30 minutes before Julie gets the cancer diagnosis for her child. Holland is content to let this story play out at its own pace, and that's fair enough, but her lazy storytelling doesn't engender sympathy for Julie's plight nor interest in the title character. In fact, once we meet the healer, he comes off as a bit of a nitwit.

I've seen worse dramas (Anywhere But Here springs to mind), but The Healer is a tragic (in both senses of the word) missed opportunity.



The Healer

Facts and Figures

Run time: 60 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 23rd April 2006

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 8.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Dr. Holden, as Evelyn Allen, as Jimmy, Judith Allen as Joan Bradshaw, Robert McWade as Mr. Bradshaw, Bruce Warren as Dr. Thornton, J. Farrell MacDonald as Applejack, Vessie Farrell as Martha

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.