Altered States cont’d

Posted in Movie of the week on December 7th, 2011 by bill

One of the strangest things about Altered States is that — spoiler alert — in the end it reveals itself to be fundamentally a love story.

A romantic comedy it’s not. The first time William Hurt’s character, Eddie Jessup, does it with his lady love, played by the delectable Blair Brown, he talks about Jesus and the crucifixion, then recounts the story of his father’s “painful and protracted death of cancer.” Despite or because of this she falls for him anyway, and their courtship / marriage / separation / etc. runs as a counterpoint to the many bizarre events that transpire.

As Emily Jessup, Brown is utterly crucial to this movie’s credibility, such as it is. Not only do you believe that she is an anthropology professor who just happens to look like a movie star, you believe that she loves Eddie despite his being a singularly difficult person to love. She does as good a job as humanly possible of delivering lines like this:
Read more »