World Traveler

Writer-director Bart Freundlich has made an engrossing Zen koan of a movie in this tale of a dissatisfied Manhattan architect who abandons his wife and 3-year-old son for an extended road trip on which he searches for the answer to why he abandoned them. Fluid camera movement and subtle editing help the audience experience this unsettling daydream with the film’s flawed protagonist. Billy Crudup (Almost Famous,) is Cal, a yuppie pretty boy who encounters—along with increasingly ennui and detachment from life—a cast of colorful, on-the-road characters played by James LeGros, Karen Allen and Julianne Moore (marvelous as a haunted mental case). David Keith does a fine job as Cal’s estranged father, but the real treat here is Tony Award-winning actor Cleavant Derricks as a recovering-alcoholic construction worker who unwisely buddies up to the wayward Cal. After a long journey of self-discovery, Cal finds the answers were always within him. Terrific film that’ll resonant days after viewing.

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