My dad was convinced that this movie had to be bad. Because it's a 20-year-old Peter Weir film starring Jeff Bridges, Isabella Rossellini, and John Tuturro (and Rosie Perez, who probably should have won the Oscar she was nominated for), and he had never heard of it. His only explanation was that it must be bad.
He was wrong. It's very good -- a strange and tender exploration of grief and faith and trauma. I struggle a bit, though, with what it's ultimately saying about any of those things. Perhaps there's something to how the other survivors cling to Max, idolize him, and take strength from him, not realizing that he's been completely fucked up by the experience just as they've been, only in an entirely different way.
"It's like God sent him to me. It's like He sent me my own angel."
"He's not an angel; he's a man. He cannot survive up there."