Eye For Film >> Movies >> Felicia's Journey (1999) Film Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
Atom Egoyan is a consummate filmmaker. Watching the way he weaves this chilling tale is an education in cinematic technique. His last movie, The Sweet Hereafter, demonstrated a skill in the use of flashbacks that was orchestral in its understanding of story form. Felicia's Journey is much simpler - too simple, perhaps - with a manageable cast of characters. What is clever is the way Egoyan holds back important details until the moment is ripe, so that the audience builds a picture by degrees, with little shocks.
Felicia (Elaine Cassidy) is a young girl from County Cork, who comes to England against his father's wishes to find her boyfriend. She thinks he works in a lawn mower factory in the Midlands, but then again, might have joined the army.
Joe Hilditch (Bob Hoskins) is the catering manager at an industrial plant. He is scrupulous in everything he does, an obsessive perfectionist who still lives in the house he shared with his mother when she was famous as a Fifties TV cook. He spends his evenings repeating her recipes and having solitary feasts at the dining room table. And then he meets Felicia, who asks for directions.
The film is slow, almost languorous. As Hilditch spins a web around the girl and she finds herself dependent upon his generosity, a sinister plot emerges. Hoskins is at his best here, controlled and manipulative. Cassidy never loses touch with Felicia's strong roots. It is not an easy role, both vulnerable and determined. They complement each other, as Egoyan draws the noose tighter.Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001