on January 29, 1999 by Susan Green
   The mystical and the just plain mystifying inhabit Scott D. Goldstein's third feature, an ethereal yarn about an orphaned teenager on a lonely search for identity. The quest undertaken by Acey (Sarah Paulson, who portrayed back-from-the-dead Merlyn on TV's equally spectral "American Gothic") is marked by supernatural flourishes that illustrate the dreams, frightening memories and hallucinations haunting her. Ernie Hudson is a DJ named Downbeat, a plot device that contributes evocative Delta blues tunes to the soundtrack. Ann Magnuson fills the shoes of Acey's adoptive and biological mothers by adopting a few pointedly yin-yang distinctions. Jeremy London ("I'll Fly Away") appears and disappears, a seemingly phantom lover.
   Goldstein ("Walls of Glass" in 1986, "Ambition" in 1991) establishes intriguing hocus pocus but leaves some enormous gaps that undermine an otherwise mesmerizing portrait of a child who desperately needs a sense of family.    Starring Sarah Paulson, Ernie Hudson, Jeremy London and Ann Magnuson. Directed and written by Scott D. Goldstein. Produced by Shelly Strong and Scott D. Goldstein. A Northern Arts release. Drama. Running time: 93 min.
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