Look Both Ways

Rated NR

Writer/Director Sarah Watt combines standard romance, an Altmanesque sense of storytelling and experimental techniques in this largely compelling story about love between two people who are obsessed with death. The story follows the romance of obsessive-compulsive Meryl and newly diagnosed cancer victim Nick over the course of a three-day weekend. While TV news plays reports about a horrible train accident, Meryl witnesses a possible suicide, and Nick has to deal with having lunch with a woman who gave birth to him. All of this is standard stuff, but the animated sequences, microscopic photography and still-image montages that Watt uses to convey the characters’ phobias and anxieties are fabulous and arresting. Actress Justine Clarke, who plays Meryl, is a real discovery, and the other players are all at least passably decent. The only downside is a set of secondary stories about an unpleasant newspaper reporter and his pregnant girlfriend. While these add nothing to the story, they don’t take a lot away from it, either, and in the end, Look Both Ways shows that there are still new things to be said about the overwhelming emotional content of the human mind.

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