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Felicia's journey

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Armed with little more than the name of the city where her lover, Johnny Lysaght (Peter McDonald), lives, 17-year-old Felicia (Elaine Cassidy) crosses the Irish Sea to find him and tell him she is pregnant. Instead, she is found by Joseph Ambrose Hilditch (Bob Hoskins), a solitary bachelor and tireless befriender of homeless girls.

Also starring Arsinée Khanjian as Gala, Sheila Reid as Iris, Nizwar Karanj as Sidney, Ali Yassine as the customs officer, Kriss Dosanjh as the salesman, Gerard McSorley as Felicia's father, Marie Stafford as Felicia's great grandmother, Gavin Kelty as Shay Mulroone, Brid Brennan as Mrs Lysaght, Mark Hadfield as the television director, Danny Turner as young Joseph and Susan Parry as Salome. Written by Atom Egoyan from the novel by William Trevor, directed by Atom Egoyan.

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

A nice little bit of perversion.

What most of you happen to forget is that perverts are normal people. They sit next to you on the train, they work next to you at the office, they drink next to you at the pub. It's only the depth at which they hide their secret life that makes them different from you, and if you don't know that they have a hidden life, then, for you, they don't have one, and that makes them just like you.

Joseph is as boring and ordinary a human being as any other. He has his nine-to-five, his home is his castle, his foibles are just the desire to do the best he can. And, of course, he's a pervert. If he wasn't a weirdo, Felicia's journey would be the most boring film ever made: girl looks for boyfriend, doesn't find him, goes home. Fortunately Joseph is the kind of man to help a wee, lost lass, so you end up being drawn deeper and deeper into his secret folly.

Bob is the perfect pervert: sweet, kind, helpful, deceitful and immoral. He's your typical, pathetic little white collar worm, blinking in the bright sunshine as he leaves the office at the end of the day. Well, he would blink in the bright sunshine, but this is England, the land that bright sunshine forgot. Everyone around him believes that they know everything there is to know about him, but no-one, not even he, really knows what he's going to do next. That's the driving force behind the story, a man of no great power finding the depth of his own perversion.

For most people, Felicia's journey will be a very slow and boring film, and quite rightly so. It's not a McDonald's Happy Meal that you can order at a microphone and collect at a window, it's a home-cooked lamb roast that has to simmer in its own juices for the better part of a couple of hours. If your attention span can handle that kind of time frame then Felicia's journey will be a rare treat for your poor, abused taste buds.

Security censorship classification

M (Adult themes)

Surveillance time

111 minutes (1:51 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental: 4 April 2001

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