The Sensation of Sight

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 6


Audience Score

User Ratings: 466
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Movie Info

First-time American writer director Aaron Wiederspahn's moody drama The Sensation of Sight concerns Finn, a middle-aged English teacher caught up in the unrelenting throes of a mid-life crisis. Driven by the guilt associated with a tragic incident for which he considers himself responsible, he drops out of his daily life and routine, and takes to selling encyclopedias. The past continues to haunt him, however, filling his days with irrepressible anxiety, robbing his nights of sleep, and driving him inexorably toward a full self-awakening.

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Critic Reviews for The Sensation of Sight

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (3)

  • Itâ(TM)s moving, occasionally charming, and universally well-acted...But with its pretensions to profundity...the film, like its hero, can get stuck inside its own head.

    Aug 27, 2008 | Full Review…
  • At 134 angst-filled minutes, The Sensation of Sight might tax your patience, but there are rewards for the persistent.

    Aug 22, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The really oppressive thing here is the filmmaking itself.

    Aug 22, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • [I]t's a terrible pity that this ensemble drama about people hurting and coping in small-town America is so relentlessly dull...

    Sep 2, 2008 | Full Review…
  • David Strathairn's Finn is the nearly broken, perplexed, downcast, and also oddly humorous Chaplinesque figure, whose own transformative experienced 'sensation of sight' imparts a tentative metaphorical healing vision of a restored life.

    Aug 20, 2008 | Full Review…
  • The impression that remains after the credits roll, however, is of exemplary American filmmaking, whose direction and superb performances make up for a solemn script.

    Jul 18, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Sensation of Sight

  • Jun 22, 2011
    The Sensation of Sight was a moody film that reminded this viewer of a really good lasagna. Several layers of ingredients come together in a complex melding that yields one delicious dish! David Strathairn plays Finn, the English teacher who seems to have retired from his life in order to make sense of what was a senseless tragedy because of the enormous guilt he carries around. Revolving around him is a marvelous cast of characters who are all struggling with finding a vital connection with other damaged souls. The way the story unfolds kept the viewer engaged, even when some of the characters proved to be quite annoying. Of special note, Elisabeth Waterston (daughter of Sam) is terrific as the young woman caught between her stubborn, grieving father and her ne'r-do-well brother and who tries to bridge the gap between them with little success. Jane Adams brings such raw emotional fragility to her character that one just aches for her. Even the two young kids who are integral to the story prove to be equal to their task. The location scenery, in and around Peterborough, NH lend an authenticity to the film, and provide a lovely backdrop to the story. But ultimately, it is the story, its utter simplicity and genuine exploration of complex human emotions that will keep the viewer engaged. First time writer-director, Aaron Wiederspahn, has crafted one beautiful film with real people showing real emotions and dealing with real issues of life and death and guilt.
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Jun 26, 2010
    I ordered it cause Ian Somerhalder was in it. I?d say its an artsy fartsy movie but the narration at the end had a good point. (at least of what I heard) something like That ?Through life is where/how you get the sensation of sight.? I was kinda bored in parts, then be interested. (this happened throughout the movie) the movie is 2 hrs & 14 minutes. The movie is basically a teacher that was traumatized by the death of a student...quits & is trying to cope/get over it he?s trying to get back to living life but its not much of one. It was more interesting toward the end I tink) C (not sure whether I liked it or disliked it)
  • Sep 20, 2008
    Excellent movie, I actually find it pretty hard to review this movie since it is quite an unorthodox movie and I really don't think that this is the type movie that you can review, but I will try to the best of my "abilities" :P. One problem I had was that sometimes the movie didn't really know where it was going and it doesn't really have a straightforward plot, you start to figure out the plot around the first hour or so of the movie and I had a problem with that but it's not a big complaint since it wasn't anything that really detracted from the movie. What I CAN say about the movie is that it had some excellent character development and writing, the material there was excellent. As I said excellent movie and I highly recommend it if you can find it since it's going to be one of those films that's going to be hard to find, but it's well worth the money once you find it.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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