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Blindness (2008) Blindness , a drama about an epidemic of sightlessness that reduces the afflicted to their primal worst and best, is up to its eyeballs in… 2008-09-26 R PT121M Drama Mystery and Thriller Julianne Moore Mark Ruffalo Danny Glover Miramax
Movie Review

Blindness (2008)

MPAA Rating: R

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Blindness | OUT OF SIGHT Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo try to find the light in Blindness
OUT OF SIGHT Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo try to find the light in Blindness
EW's GRADE
C+

Details Release Date: Sep 26, 2008; Rated: R; Length: 121 Minutes; Genres: Drama, Mystery and Thriller; With: Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo; Distributor: Miramax

Blindness, a drama about an epidemic of sightlessness that reduces the afflicted to their primal worst and best, is up to its eyeballs in visual affectation. Ironic, no? And here's what is even more cockeyed: Though it's directed with a fondness for stylized blur, shadow, and bleached imagery by Fernando Meirelles, who gave slums a hip-hop gloss in City of God, this self-consciously moody adaptation is based on a 1995 novel by the Portuguese Nobel Prize winner José Saramago that's the opposite of gussied up. On the page, in fact, Saramago's compelling parable spills out in an urgent rush of unadorned language.

I suspect the culprit is a case of middlebrow glaucoma — a condition of glazed cloudiness that sometimes affects movies chasing the prestige of admired literature. But whatever the diagnosis, the ailment takes a toll on an honorable cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Danny Glover, and Gael García Bernal among the squabbling, unseeing crowd, and Julianne Moore as the one sighted witness; she feigns blindness to be with her husband (Ruffalo) when he’s quarantined. As the players enact the fall and rebirth of civilization, Meirelles suggests that even a society gone to hell looks better with a little music-video-like pizzazz. C+

Originally posted Sep 24, 2008 Published in issue #1014 Oct 03, 2008 Order article reprints