Thoughts of his girlfriend Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), a prolitical activist, whip pragmatic district attorney Fielding (Billy Crudup) into near insanity in Waking the Dead. If she really died in a car bombing back in 1974, why does he keep seeing visions of her in 1982 as he prepares to run for congress? And who’s dead — Sarah, or Fielding’s soul? And when — given that this hyperventilating drama directed by Keith Gordon is based on a typically empurpled 1986 novel by Endless Love’s Scott Spencer — will be the big sex scene take place?
I won’t tell. Crudup (Without Limits) is one of the movies’ most exciting young actors, and Connelly (who starred opposite Crudup in Inventing the Abbotts) has got a gaze that can burn through walls. But the arbitrariness of teh lowers’ passion and the somber hysteria with which the novelist and filmmaker treat every issue, whether it’s South American dictatorship or female armpit hair, is enough to anesthetize the living.