August 21, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

At First Sight

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
Wide Release Date
01/15/99
performer
Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino, Nathan Lane, Kelly McGillis
director
Irwin Winkler
distributor
MGM
genre
Drama, Romance

STARRING Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino, Kelly McGillis, Steven Weber

DIRECTED BY Irwin Winkler

Departing from his recent string of saints and superheroes, Kilmer plays a blind-from-birth man whose sight is surgically restored in this adaptation of an Oliver Sacks case study. ”There have been maybe 20 cases like this in the past 200 years,” explains Sorvino, who plays Kilmer’s sighted love interest. ”And several have resulted in suicide, because the confusion of visual images never resolves itself.” To prep, Kilmer needed to learn how to ice-skate — blind. ”We made some contact lenses that were opaque, but we mostly didn’t shoot with those because he couldn’t hit his marks,” says Winkler. Sorvino’s research, he remembers, was easier. ”These two lovers at some point break up, and while we were shooting that, she ended up breaking up with Quentin [Tarantino],” says Winkler. ”So she really was playing this character.” (Nov. 20)

THE LOWDOWN The cast is promising, but we’ll believe this prickly pair’s chemistry when we see it.

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