Who's in It:
Ewan McGregor, Ryan Gosling, Naomi Watts
The Basics: A psychiatrist (McGregor) has to save a young man (Gosling) from suicide. Or maybe he has to save himself. Maybe the young man and the psychiatrist are the same guy. Maybe one of them's already dead. Maybe they both are. Maybe it's all a dream and all reality is illusion. Maybe … oh, who cares.
What's the Deal? You know what sucks? When you go see a movie that makes absolutely no sense with a friend who walks out and tries to explain it all to you because you're just not deep enough to deal with all that mind-blowing Jacob's LadderSixth Sense crap. And then you think for a second that maybe you really are dumb, or you would have understood what was going on. But finally you just realize your friend is full of it, and he didn't get it, either.
The Same River Twice: Director Marc Forster has been down the mind-game road before, with 2001's subtle, creepy, postpartum depression and madness drama Everything Put Together. It was better.
How to Read the Intentionally Unreadable: Don't. Just watch the swaggering direction of Forster as he lobs all sorts of visual treats at the camera. Because if nothing else — and there really is very little in the way of emotional heft here — it looks really great. And if you feel like it, you could notice how McGregor and Gosling are always morphing into each other. That's your clue that they're connected on a whole different level of reality. Anyway, it's art-directed more than plotted, so don't sweat it.
More About Those Surface Pleasures: Fashion fiends will find McGregor's incredibly cool tailored suits to be more excitement than they can handle. They were constructed with high-water hem strangeness by up-and-coming designer Thom Browne.
Stranger With Candy: It's just a little candy. Very little. But Amy Sedaris shows up for one scene as a receptionist recommending booze and pills to a friend on the phone.