By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated March 24, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST
Billy Crudup, Jennifer Connelly, ...
  • Movie

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.

Waking the Dead

  • Movie
  • R
  • 106 minutes
  • Keith Gordon