Julie Christie plays his wife, who is both much less intense and less rational than he is. The death of their daughter weighs heavy on her. While in a restaurant she helps a woman remove something from her eye. "You look sad," says the woman's wide blue-eyed blind companion. "She's psychic," explains the woman. "I've seen her. She's happy," the psychic reassures the wife, describing the red coat the girl was wearing. Relieved yet disturbed, the wife returns to the dinner table, tells her husband what the psychic said, and promptly faints. Later we find the husband ranting that "she's not coming back" and insisting that these things are not rational. But by then we know there's a parallel world that the husband won't acknowledge, and we just want to slap him, because we know things are only going to get more vivid for him — and scarier for us.
This film reminds me of two other great am-I-going-nuts-or-what films, The Dead of Night and The Haunting. These films force us to question the sanity and therefore the safety of characters a lot like us in their complacency about their own sanity.
Don't Look Now is at the Michigan Theater on Monday, October 17.
[Review published October 2005]