Van Sant's impressive third feature has enough ideas to fill three movies, a plenitude that threatens to blow the film apart (but never does). It's a road movie filmed mainly from the point of view of gay hustler Mike (Phoenix, superb), a narcoleptic who falls unconscious without warning at moments of stress. As Mike tours the Pacific Northwest doing 'dates', he meets up with mayor's son Scott (Reeves), and together they set off in search of Mike's mother. The disconcerting realities of the situation are punctuated by sequences of surreal, dreamlike beauty, 'documentary'-style inserts, and playful variations on Shakespeare, with Scott still playing Prince Hal to the Falstaffian Bob (Richert), a thief and ex-hustler, in the knowledge that he will soon be 'King'. Stunning to look at - the dawn and dusk landscapes are sublime - and seductively scored, the film's uniqueness lies in its remarkable emotional open-heartedness.
Cast and crew