The Lathe of Heaven Reviews
It does have one thing in common with Inception - which I can't say without turning this into a spoiler - so I won't.
But don;t watch this on a sunday afternoon. The hypnotism sequences are so effective, there are time when this could have been called the Lethe of Heaven instead :)
This is a very unusual picture, and is made all the more unusual for having been a PBS television film (bet you didn't know such a thing existed! - most PBS dramas are British imports nowadays). For those not in the US, PBS is the US educational broadcaster.
There's quite a lot going on here, much of it very impressively realized in terms of imagery, all in all, it does actually hold up pretty well. Keep in mind it was made for less than $200,000 in 1979! (Although this does lead to some unintended humorous moments when those of us who are knowledgeable about TV production recognize that the crew were so strapped for cash that they reused their own equipment: In one sequence the "Augmenter" is very obviously an analogue vision mixer!)
Le Guin herself was heavily involved in the production and has expressed her approval of the work; those criticizing differences from the source matter are talking through their hats.
It is a real pity that the original film masters are lost and all that remained was apparently a telecine on quad tape. If you are used to watching seventies shows that have been digitized from kinoscopes you may be in for a bit of a shock. In spite of the re-mastering, there are significant video artifacts, including sometimes severe ghosting and loss of definition. If you are sufficiently unintelligent to be unable to look past this, this movie is not for you.
"And psychiatrists collect the rent."
Lathe of Heaven is set in the near future, where over population and nuclear war threaten to destroy the world. Bruce Davidson stars as George Orr, a man that thinks that his dreams can effect reality. He is forced to see a doctor after almost over dosing on a dream suppressing drug. The doctor soon discovers that George's dream changing abilities are indeed real, and begins to manipulate them for his own gain.
Interesting from beginning to end. Davidson is excellent in the lead role. A solid and thought provoking science fiction film, that only suffers slightly from a low production quality. Definitely worth watching. But make sure that you are in the mood for an unusual film.