Track 29

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So obsessed with his model train set is North Carolina geriatrician Lloyd that he neglects the complaints of wife Russell about their sexless, childless union. Her suicide is averted only by the sudden arrival of English oddball Oldman, who claims to be her long-absent illegitimate son. Cue fiery rows and frantic role-playing. Roeg and screenplay-writer Dennis Potter's brash, over-emphatic psychodrama tosses out enough tricky ambiguities (is Oldman merely a child of Russell's frustrated imagination?), musical and cinematic references, and verbal and visual puns, to suggest that there's far more here than meets the eye. Finally, however, it's merely an inflated Oedipal riddle, and an exploration of guilt, desire and impotence that ends up as a curiously unilluminating and predictable vision of the world as funny-farm. Lloyd performs with a certain verve, but Russell and Oldman seem to have confused range with wobbly histrionics.

Release details

Duration: 90 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Screenwriter: Dennis Potter
Cast: Theresa Russell
Gary Oldman
Christopher Lloyd
Colleen Camp
Sandra Bernhard
Seymour Cassel
Leon Rippy
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