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"Felicia's Journey"

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In Felicia's Journey, Bob Hoskins is playing Joseph Hilditch, a fastidious catering manager in England's industrial Midlands who also happens to be a serial killer. Hilditch may not be fully aware of the murders he's committed; the women that this painfully lonely man picks up and befriends, and secretly videotapes in his car, are a solace he ultimately can't abide. (The killings are never shown.) Felicia (Elaine Cassidy), who is taken up by him after arriving from Ireland pregnant and in search of her errant boyfriend, is the innocent who unknowingly risks her life and transforms him. Atom Egoyan's adaptation of the 1994 William Trevor novel is an attempt to make ghoulishness ethereal. Egoyan resists pulping the material, or maybe he's just no good at getting down and dirty. But pulp would have been preferable to all this sluggish, nondescript lyricism. Even Hoskins begins to fade into the high-toned haze after a while. He's described his character as being a cross between Jack the Ripper and Winnie the Pooh, but what we mostly get is Pooh. Hilditch is certainly in a state of massive denial, but Hoskins's performance denies him too much. This monster self-cancels as you watch him.


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