Mark Harris
April 19, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Oxygen

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
Limited Release Date
11/05/99
performer
Adrien Brody, Maura Tierney, Dylan Baker, Terry Kinney, James Naughton
director
Richard Shepard
author
Richard Shepard
genre
Drama, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B+

Some novels you admire for the breadth and sweep of their canvases, others for their exquisitely detailed brushwork. Miller’s gently wrought four-person character study is in the latter category, but no less consequential for its modesty of scale. In her home in the English countryside, an old woman in the final stages of cancer feels her way toward the end of her life as her two adult sons come together to care for her. Some overdrawn life-on-the-fringes-of-showbiz scenes and a counterpoint plot involving an exiled Hungarian playwright aren’t as sure-handed as they should be, but Miller’s depiction of a matriarch’s waning days and twilight thoughts is sensitive enough to mark him as a real talent. B+

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