Lisa Schwarzbaum
March 24, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Waking the Dead

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
106 minutes
performer
Jennifer Connelly, Billy Crudup, Ed Harris, Sandra Oh
director
Keith Gordon
distributor
USA Films
author
Robert Dillon
genre
Romance, Drama

We gave it a C

Thoughts of his girlfriend Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), a political activist, whip pragmatic district attorney Fielding (Billy Crudup) into near insanity in ”Waking the Dead.”

If she really died in a car bombing back in 1974, why does he keep seeing visions of her in 1982 as he prepares to run for Congress? And who’s dead — Sarah, or Fielding’s soul? And when — given that this hyperventilating drama directed by Keith Gordon is based on a typically empurpled 1986 novel by ”Endless Love”’s Scott Spencer — will the big sex scene take place?

I won’t tell. Crudup (”Without Limits”) is one of the movies’ most exciting young actors, and Connelly (who starred opposite Crudup in ”Inventing the Abbotts”) has got a gaze that can burn through walls. But the arbitrariness of the lovers’ passion and the somber hysteria with which the novelist and filmmaker treat every issue, whether it’s South American dictatorship or female armpit hair, is enough to anesthetize the living.

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