Lathe of Heaven [1980]

For Ursula Le Guin's devoted following, the 2002 remake of the 1980 film based on her novel may not be the stuff dreams are made of. This new adaptation omits some of the original's most memorable developments (the racially equalized "grays" and the alien invasion). Lucas Haas stars as George Orr, a "little lost boy" haunted by his dreams, which, he claims, alter the present unbeknownst to anyone but him. James Caan (more menacing than was Kevin Conway in the original) costars as the self-promoting Dr. Haber, the therapist assigned to treat the suicidal young man. This "very productive relationship" most benefits Haber, who attempts to manufacture George's dreams "to fit some useful function." The requisite unforeseen consequences ensue. Lisa Bonet is ravishing, but less impressive as George's skeptical public defender who may be the girl of his dreams. The foreboding mood is enhanced by Angelo Badalamenti's score, which recalls his haunting work on Twin Peaks. --Donald Liebenson

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