on March 27, 1998 by Christine James
Once again, a filmmaker tackles the supernatural but unfortunately lacks the out-of-this-world imagination to depict that which is out of this world. Joanna Going plays Helen, a wife and mother in the mid-'60s who is deprived of her dream of being a history teacher by her old-fashioned husband, an economics instructor, and is further restricted by multiple sclerosis, which has incapacitated one leg and threatens to do more damage to her body.
   Helen inadvertently discovers that while she is asleep, her spirit is able to leave her body and travel anywhere she likes. Initially frightened by these involuntary nocturnal roamings, she soon comes to cherish the freedom they provide. But before too long, she wants to be asleep all the time to avoid dealing with the harsh realities of her life. The dramatic crisis here is that her two young children are forced to pay the price as their mother eschews her responsibilities for the ecstasy of astral travel.
   Helen's intellectual awakening as a result of her paranormal escapades is only sketchily drawn, with vague preachments about "seeing," "learning" and "interconnectedness." Most disappointing, however, are the astral projection sequences, which have unlimited potential and yet all we're shown are drifting clouds and uninspiring starscapes. The core problem, however, is the bland performances turned in by Going and Walsh, making their characters' plight difficult to sympathize with. Starring Joanna Going, Dylan Walsh and Sean Patrick Flanery. Written and directed by Howard Goldberg. Produced by Harvey Kahn. A Legacy release. Drama. Running time: 108 min.
Tags: Joanna Going, Dylan Walsh, Sean Patrick Flanery, Howard Goldberg. Produced by Harvey Kahn. A Legacy release. Drama

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