Waking The Dead

Director Keith Gordon tries to pull an intelligent, thought-provoking movie out of Scott Spencer's intelligent, thought-provoking novel about a young politician haunted by either his conscience or his dead girlfriend. For the most part he succeeds... all the film needs is a little life. Eight years after his girlfriend Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) died in...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

Reviewed by Ken Fox
Rating:

Director Keith Gordon tries to pull an intelligent, thought-provoking movie out of Scott Spencer's intelligent, thought-provoking novel about a young politician haunted by either his conscience or his dead girlfriend. For the most part he succeeds... all the film

needs is a little life. Eight years after his girlfriend Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) died in a 1974 car bombing that also left two Chilean exiles dead, young and politically ambitious Chicago D.A. Fielding Pierce (Billy Crudup) is offered a shot at a congressional seat in an impoverished district.

It's what Fielding has worked for his entire life: Harvard undergrad, a stint with the Coast Guard during Vietnam, law school and the tutelage of a powerful Chicago politico (Hal Holbrook). But just as Fielding accepts his party's nomination, he begins to sense Sarah's presence and recalls her

deep commitment to helping the poor and politically persecuted. These are more than just memories: Fielding begins getting strange phone calls and thinks he sees Sarah across crowded rooms. Pangs of conscience, or has his better half really come back from the dead? Spencer's sardonic, mercilessly

self-aware first-person narrators are difficult to translate to the screen — witness the debacle of Endless Love, his haunting novel of romantic obsession that became the abysmal potboiler starring Brooke Shields. Crudup captures the essence of a man facing moral compromise, but the

story's central ambiguities are rendered too literally. A tale of conscience lost and found becomes little more than a smart but tepid ghost story for idealists and '60s survivors, and not a terribly spooky one at that.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Director Keith Gordon tries to pull an intelligent, thought-provoking movie out of Scott Spencer's intelligent, thought-provoking novel about a young politician haunted by either his conscience or his dead girlfriend. For the most part he succeeds... all t… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »