Last year Anthony Hopkins starred in and executive-produced Emilio Estevez’s vanity turd Bobby. The experience must have inspired Sir Anthony to buck the system and embark on his own narcissistic enterprise; he said in a recent interview, “The politics of Hollywood were beginning to get under my skin.” In Slipstream, Hopkins—who wrote, directed, scored and stars—wants the audience to get inside his head. And he’s brought along his wife (Arroyave, a former antiques dealer and the film’s producer) and an assortment of C-list talent (Slater, Camryn Manheim) to crack that noggin wide open.
Playing Felix Bonhoeffer, a screenwriter whose waking and dream lives begin to bleed into his latest script—in which besuited thugs menace diner patrons in a desert—Hopkins isn’t content to bore his viewers silly with nonsensical time-bending. Like Estevez, the knighted Welshman must “say” something about the 20th century, via superfluous clips of Nixon, Stalin and the Vietnam War (the surname of Hopkins’s character is that of the German theologian involved in a plot to kill Hitler). Slipstream fails miserably as a film about moviemaking, writing, REM sleep and historical atrocities. Let’s hope Hopkins has no more visions to share before he returns to scenery-chewing in The Wolf Man.