Preface: James Joyce is one of my favorite authors. not one of the "cool" authors you list in your "profiles," to be sure. An author who, because of, or despite being shoved at me in high school, was succesfully pushed on me and wormed his way deep into my twisted teenage psyche, his complex words and worlds were somehow soothing to me. (24 hours in Dublin found me posing next to a statue of the man, and wishing desperately it would snow, but I was extremely happy to be there even for a short while, despite missing out on being in a pub, a carriage, a parlor....the churches and the cobblestones and light mist of rain and the people did me a world of good. But, to use the phrase that will no doubt be hacked into my tombstone, I digress.)
Spoliers ahead...although I'm sure you're not gonna run right out and rent the film or read the book. But if ye do, than ye do.
It concerns ghosts.
And the shock of discovery.
And who you thought you knew so well, most intimately, you just didn't, perhaps, know at all.
And who you thought you had, you possessed, so completely, you never will.
And who's to possess, really, anyone at all?
It's about a part of you permanently haunted, an attic in your soul barricaded by impenetrable beams of oak, nailed shut by the sweaty craftsman of your conscious mind.
It's about the ghost refusing to stay barricaded and puncturing through your psyche in tiny tunnels, almost but not quite invisibly.
It's about living your life not quite the same as you would have before, perfectly fine, but never quite the same.
It's about something, somehow, triggering the haunting, a sight, a song, a circumstance...
It's about grief, and distance, and love.
Yes, about love.
I'm not doing a very good job, am I?
Then again, I'm not Joyce.
Maybe I won't spoil it.
It's a lovely read and a lovely film.
Watch Anjelica Huston. She speaks barely ten words until the final fifteen minutes of the film and a more powerful performance I've never watched on film.
Just watch. It's utterly lovely and sad.