Why? While Egoyan is a master at working with cryptic source material, Felicia's Journey lends itself more to its source as a novel than the big screen. Basically, this is the story of two people. First is Felicia (Cassidy), an Irish lass who's travelled to the U.K. to search for the father of her unborn child. Along the way she encounters Joseph Hilditch (Hoskins), a sweet and friendly "catering director" who hides a secret that other critics will undoubtedly reveal, but I won't.
Felicia's Journey quickly becomes one of codependency. Hilditch, the son of a famous TV cooking show star (Egoyan regular, his wife Khanjian), needs the woman to dote upon. Felicia needs him to help search for her Johnny, and to feed and shelter her. We do manage to get inside the heads of both of these characters, particularly interesting in flashbacks to Hilditch's bizarre life as a child. But I posit that the film may have been just as understandable without them. These characters just aren't all that deep, especially Felicia, who gets on your nerves after her prettiness wears off.
By the end, we realize we've been watching a couple of crazies for the last two hours. The resolution arrives exactly as expected, which is not Egoyan's typical M.O. The movie ends, the theater clears, the story feels unfinished and trifling.
Artisan has already begun a campaign to get Hoskins a Best Actor nomination, and rightfully so. But aside from his impressive, slow-burning work along with typical Egoyan cinematic beauty, Felicia has little to add to Egoyan's repertoire. There are moments of greatness, punctuated by stretches of predictable narrative. Ultimately, the film just feels too much like something you'd see late at night on Showtime. Okay, maybe better than that, but nothing to send a postcard home about.
Better luck on the next trip, Atom.
Felicia: Leavin' on a jet plane.
Run time: 116 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 24th November 1999
Distributed by: Artisan Pictures
Production compaines: Marquis Films Ltd, Alliance Atlantis Communications, Icon Entertainment International
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 36 Rotten: 5
IMDB: 7.0 / 10
Director: Atom Egoyan
Producer: Bruce Davy
Screenwriter: Atom Egoyan
Starring: Bob Hoskins as Joe Hilditch, Arsinée Khanjian as Gala, Elaine Cassidy as Felicia, Sheila Reid as Iris, Nizwar Karanj as Sidney, Ali Yassine as Customs Officer, Peter McDonald as Johnny Lysaght, Kriss Dosanjh as Salesman, Gerard McSorley as Felicia's Father
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