Synopsis & Reviews for The Sensation of Sight

This script was most definitely one of those that one picks up and puts in your pocket, takes home, runs it under the faucet, and puts on the window sill in the sun to watch it catch the light. Any light. Because it had so many facets to catch the light: whimsy, compassion and forgiveness for all the characters, a wonderful balance of all the story lines, both a poetical lilt and a very grounded insight, and most of all a gentleness and delight….I love that it is about very real human conditions, presented patiently, gently, smilingly, with no judgment. It’s affirmative and hopeful. What could be better? And it introduces several actors and a director to be watched, who herein prove to be deft and beautiful messengers.”—David Strathairn, from his interview with The Warren Report

The Sensation of Sight has visual pizazz to spare Nathan Lee, The New York Times

A splendid performance by David Strathairn.” –V.A. Musetto, The New York Post

Exemplary American filmmaking…superb performances. Strathairn is both charming and empathetic; he is as much a delight to watch as Bill Murray in Lost in Translation or Broken Flowers.–Adam Clement, Box Office Magazine

Moving…charming, and universally well acted.–Ruth McCann, The Village Voice

A hypnotizing tale of lost opportunities and philosophical musings…Emotionally satisfying and provocative at the same time…stunning cinematography…engaging from start to finish.”—Randy Miller, DVD Talk

(Film Pick of the Week) Wiederspahn’s episodic character study might have been inspired by a lost short story by John Cheever…Several standouts in the effective ensemble… –Mark Griffin, The Boston Globe

Savory American indie fare…impressve first time writer/director Aaron J. Wiederspahn’s The Sensation of Sight is ambitiously ruminative, pondering notions of unforeseen tragedy and responsibility.” –Lisa Kennedy, The Denver Post

Compelling understated performance by David Strathairn…terrific supporting cast…a pleasure to look at thanks to the terrific cinematography by Christophe Lanzenberg.–Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

The most compelling American Indie I’ve seen in years…graceful, intelligent filmmaking.” –W arren Etheridge, The Warren Report

Strathairn is nothing short of amazing…Like his performance as Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck, his interpretation is a masterpiece of subtlety.” –Matt Bradshaw,

A powerfully poetic drama…hauntingly real in its portrayal of the human condition….David Strathairn pulls off another Oscar-worthy performance, and the film’s ensemble stays with you long after the closing credits…this film is truly an eye-opener.”–Yaniv Rokah, Moving Pictures Magazine

A very beautiful film…definitely informed by a transcendent sensibility, which means filmmakers who make films about things that are beyond us, things that are beyond the physical world that we’re in, filmmakers that acknowledge that there’s something more than this….Filmmakers like Bergman, Fellini, Bresson.” –Aaron B. Smith, film critic,

“Like a delicately designed patchwork quilt, The Sensation of Sight is crafted from the odds and ends of its characters, then ultimately surprises with its fusion of introspection and emotion…. David Strathairn’s Finn imparts a metaphorical healing vision of a restored life.” Prairie Miller,

The performances are nuanced and spot-on. The camera-work is simultaneously full of ethereal beauty and a concrete connection to place that is completely immersive….The Sensation of Sight is the sort of film that demands to be seen more than once; not because it didn’t make sense the first time, but because the experience becomes even richer and more meaningful with each successive viewing. Most movies diminish considerably with repeated viewings, and it is always a great pleasure to discover a film with the opposite quality.–Jared Wheeler, Moviegoings

The performances are all absolutely first rate…Wiederspahn coaxes subtleties out of each of his cast members that remind us of the humanity within us all…The Sensation of Sight is a cinematic world occupied not by Hollywood personalities or comic book archetypes but by real people with real faces, bodies, and behaviors….Leading the list here is David Strathairn as Finn in what may well be the defining performance of his career.–Greg Wright, Past the Popcorn

Wiederspahn is one of those rare talents who shows a strong sense of “place,” and tremendous patience in his storytelling. He likes long takes, which enable his actors to find moments of delightful spontaneity.” –Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer

The film has a pervasive sense of grace and hope…The Sensation of Sight reminds that if we want to see in the dark then we require a light that can enter the darkness and give us not only the sensation but the reality of sight.” –Hal Conklin, Cinema in Focus

The Sensation of Sight is a sight for sore eyes. In today’s moviemaking world, where CGI is a character unto itself and independent movies are finding a greater niche, The Sensation of Sight reminds us why we watch movies. And why is that? To be entertained and to be moved…You may just find this movie quietly slipping onto your top ten list.” –Jared Garrett, Helium

A fantastic film…Strathairn is mesmerizing.Michael Brindley, Nashua Telegraph (NH)

“Charming…delicate and beautiful.Drew Gemmer, The Portland Mercury (OR)

David Strathairn’s understated portrayal of Finn is powerful…The picture, filmed in rural NewHampshire, is beautifully shot. The seemingly effortless camera work, emphasizing the gentle, subdued colors of an autumn past its prime, sets the perfect mood for this story of loneliness, penance and redemption. –Joanne C. Twaddell, The Daily Courier (AZ)

The Sensation of Sight is a beautifully made film. The acting is a tour de force for everyone involved. Characters are totally believable and disturbingly familiar.Cynthia Nicolosi, Parable Magazine

“Strong performances…excellent use of symbolism and metaphor.Holly T. Wagner, Home Media Magazine

The Sensation of Sight is an independent film with a huge heart, a real gem in cinema rarely found today…a fantastic piece of

Terrific performances and really good writing highlight this impressive indie that found excellent reviews. Strathairn and Somerhalder bring starpower.” –

The cinematography is lovely…the performances are exquisite, especially David Strathairn and Jane Adams.MaryAnn Johanson,

An instant American Classic…Achingly lyrical…Beautifully written and delicately shot.” –Nashen Moodley, Director, Durban International Film Festival (South Africa)

Astonishing…The Sensation of Sight introduces a rare and touching character practically nonexistent in modern movies—a character who resists with dignity our current slide into cultural decadence and who provokes our nerves and curiosity…The great actor David Strathairn and all the brilliant cast of this unique movie made the right decision to invest their talents in this project… Wiederspahn is surely a new hope in American independent cinema.Leon Cakoff, Artistic Director, Sao Paulo International Film Festival (Brazil)

Deeply impressive…a major discovery.” —Edvina Puksta, Artistic Director, Vilnius International Film Festival

Compelling, engrossing story, beautifully shot, and good all-round ensemble cast. David Strathairn, as usual, is marvelous.–Ron Henderson, Artistic Director, Denver Film Festival

Absolutely absorbing…one of the highest scoring films submitted to us this year. –Michael Rabehl, Programming Director, Cinequest Film Festival

Delightfully smart independent fare that touches the soul on many levels….The tale is carried thoughtfully forward with intellect, poetry, and pithy insight…You can walk away touched by feelings, motivated toward compassion, engaged to face fears…a tall order, but well within range of this film…The Sensation of Sight carries tremendous audience appeal.W. Fred Crow, film critic, Cineblog (San Jose, CA)

A very original film… Sensitive script…Excellent cast….Exudes an elegance that makes us think Aaron J. Wiederspahn will become a great director.–Mikel Olacirequi, Artistic Director San Sebastian International Film Festival

The film has an air, a very intense air, that reminds me of Beckett…And the image of the great David Strathairn in a worn out suit with a tie and hat, dragging a cart full of encyclopedias to be sold on the street corners and parks has a touch, a very particular touch, of Jacques Tati’s creations…And maybe because of the mystery, the questions asked by the characters to each other…because we have Beckett and Tati, and Edward Hopper, and the pervasive aroma of Diane Arbus’ pictures…for whatever reasons, The Sensation of Sight is brutally hypnotic.” –Emmas Gluck, film critic, Diario Vasco (Spain)

The movie’s vision, which has a totally independent feel, is completely different from what we see in current American movies. To compare, regarding tempo and form, we could say we are seeing a modern Jim Jarmusch. Silences and glances predominate much of the film as do dialogues in which something is always hidden…and at the end a revelation ties all the loose ends together.”—Carlos Fernandes, film critic, CINeol (Spain)

If the Independent Spirit Awards truly stood for what they pretend to stand for they would have given a whole bunch of awards to the greatest independent picture of the year The Sensation of Sight…A thing of rare beauty, the film is stylistically evocative of Russian filmmaker Andre Tarkovsky. It has the look of a foreign film, but is 100 percent American—and 100 percent independent.–Edward X. Young,

“David Strathairn delivers a quietly powerful performance supported by a magnificent ensemble cast in an impressive feature debut which its writer-director calls ‘a human tapestry.'” –Mendocino Film Festival

“I do my best to recommend indie gems like The Sensation of Sight any time that I get the chance to anyone that is willing to listen, be it a friend, a current woman interest, or the postman. Filmed in eighteen days with a modest $1 million budget, most of those who do catch the dreamy David Strathairn-starring drama are impressed, least of all because it is the debut feature film project of writer and director Aaron Wiederspahn, who crafted the strange, but beautiful tale from a recurring dream of his own.” – Jonathan Burdick, Row Three