Saturday, April 27, 2002

World Traveler (IMDB) (Netflix)

It's a shame actor Billy Crudup doesn't work in bigger films; other than the wonderful Almost Famous, he's focused mostly on indie efforts like Jesus's Son, Inventing the Abbotts and Waking the Dead, difficult dramas that don't even try to be mass-market. Here he's a New York architect who has a premature mid-life crisis, leaves his wife and young son, and hits the road to find, well, something, but even he's not sure what that is.

This film might try your patience--it's totally character-driven, and the restrained dialogue is as spare as the action. Yet watching Crudup, and Julianne Moore as one of the people he meets along the way, makes the journey somehow worthwhile, because they're able to vividly communicate their damaged psyches without saying or doing much of anything, rather than through tiresome made-for-TV-movie histrionics.