You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Santa Fe

New Age philosophies and old-fashioned romance bump heads in "Santa Fe," the movie. The setting is perfect, but the film is a muddled pastiche of ideas and themes that fails to coalesce into a meaningful drama. Pic faces grim theatrical prospects but could be an OK TV attraction thanks to a generally appealing cast.

With:
Paul Thomas - Gary Cole Eleanor Braddock - Lolita Davidovich Crystal Thomas - Tina Majorino Leah Thomas - Sheila Kelley Dr. Dan Yates - Jere Burns Nancy Thomas - Pamela Reed Dr. Ginsberg - Phyllis Frelich Mayor Robert Strauss - Mark Medoff Chief Gomez - Tony Plana Larry Culpepper - Michael Harris Dr. Raskin - Jeffrey Jones Ed - Bill Pugin Katherine - Robin Frates Corbett Jane - Anna Gunn

New Age philosophies and old-fashioned romance bump heads in “Santa Fe,” the movie. The setting is perfect, but the film is a muddled pastiche of ideas and themes that fails to coalesce into a meaningful drama. Lacking the bite of its convictions, pic faces grim theatrical prospects but could be an OK TV attraction thanks to a generally appealing cast.

Cop Paul Thomas (Gary Cole) emerges a hero from eight months in hospital and rehab. He managed to save a handful of people — including his wife and daughter — from the bloody finale of a fringe cult homesteading in Wyoming, in the process taking a couple of bullets from an anxious SWAT sniper. But he’s less than conquering to wife Leah (Sheila Kelley), who’s taken up with a healer in their home town of Santa Fe, N.M.

Hoping to pick up the pieces of his life, Paul faces a review board for reinstatement on the police force. He also agrees to participate in a counseling retreat (at his wife’s urging), where he takes an immediate dislike to group leader Eleanor Braddock (Lolita Davidovich). His phobia of charismatic types is so intense, he begins a school program to warn kids of the danger of cults.

Script by Mark Medoff and director Andrew Shea then abruptly segues into romantic comedy. Paul’s dislike of Eleanor melts when the two are coincidentally brought together by the personals. He struggles not to lump her in with other gurus as the relationship grows, and wards off the fanatical warnings of cult deprogrammer Dr. Ginsberg (Phyllis Frelich). Seesawing over just how seriously to take Paul’s plight, pic opts for the easy dramatic out.

Contributing to considerable narrative clutter are protag’s basketball program for inner city kids, his sister Nancy’s (Pamela Reed) fight to recall the mayor (Medoff) for industrializing the area, and the difficulties he encounters as a separated father in raising young, precocious Crystal (Tina Majorino).

Tech credits are uniformly smooth, and the ensemble cast, especially leads Cole, Davidovich and Majorino, are effective enough. Co-writer Medoff has one of the better supporting roles as the seemingly benign but thoroughly manipulative mayor. But Frelich is reduced to mugging and vamping as Cole’s overzealous shrink.

Santa Fe

Production: A NuImge presentation of a Doradel production. Produced by Andrew Shea, Larry Estes. Executive producers, Sharon Braly, Boaz Davidson. Directed by Andrew Shea. Screenplay, Mark Medoff, Shea.

Crew: Camera (CFI color), Paul Elliott; editor, Melissa Gerrero; music, Mark Governor; production design, Rosario Provenza; costume design, Deborah Shaw; sound (Ultra-Stereo), Bayard Carey; assistant director, Jo Shilling. Reviewed at Fort Lauderdale Film Festival, Nov. 8, 1997. (Also in Sundance Film Festival --- competing.) Running time: 97 MIN.

With: Paul Thomas - Gary Cole Eleanor Braddock - Lolita Davidovich Crystal Thomas - Tina Majorino Leah Thomas - Sheila Kelley Dr. Dan Yates - Jere Burns Nancy Thomas - Pamela Reed Dr. Ginsberg - Phyllis Frelich Mayor Robert Strauss - Mark Medoff Chief Gomez - Tony Plana Larry Culpepper - Michael Harris Dr. Raskin - Jeffrey Jones Ed - Bill Pugin Katherine - Robin Frates Corbett Jane - Anna Gunn

More Film

  • London Film Festival Director Clare Stewart

    London Film Festival Director Clare Stewart to Take Year-long Sabbatical

    New Age philosophies and old-fashioned romance bump heads in “Santa Fe,” the movie. The setting is perfect, but the film is a muddled pastiche of ideas and themes that fails to coalesce into a meaningful drama. Lacking the bite of its convictions, pic faces grim theatrical prospects but could be an OK TV attraction thanks […]

  • Directors Zvyagintsev, Weerasethakul and Rosi Booked

    Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Gianfranco Rosi Booked for Qumra

    New Age philosophies and old-fashioned romance bump heads in “Santa Fe,” the movie. The setting is perfect, but the film is a muddled pastiche of ideas and themes that fails to coalesce into a meaningful drama. Lacking the bite of its convictions, pic faces grim theatrical prospects but could be an OK TV attraction thanks […]

  • ‘Guilty Men’ Sweeps Colombia's 6th Macondo

    ‘Guilty Men’ Sweeps Colombia's 6th Macondo Awards

    New Age philosophies and old-fashioned romance bump heads in “Santa Fe,” the movie. The setting is perfect, but the film is a muddled pastiche of ideas and themes that fails to coalesce into a meaningful drama. Lacking the bite of its convictions, pic faces grim theatrical prospects but could be an OK TV attraction thanks […]

  • Madrid’s ECAM Pacts With Torino, Rotterdam

    ECAM Pacts with Torino, Rotterdam on First Incubator Projects

    New Age philosophies and old-fashioned romance bump heads in “Santa Fe,” the movie. The setting is perfect, but the film is a muddled pastiche of ideas and themes that fails to coalesce into a meaningful drama. Lacking the bite of its convictions, pic faces grim theatrical prospects but could be an OK TV attraction thanks […]

  • Andrew DuncanMomentum Pictures with The Cinema

    'Florida Project' Producer Steps Down Amid Harassment Claims

    New Age philosophies and old-fashioned romance bump heads in “Santa Fe,” the movie. The setting is perfect, but the film is a muddled pastiche of ideas and themes that fails to coalesce into a meaningful drama. Lacking the bite of its convictions, pic faces grim theatrical prospects but could be an OK TV attraction thanks […]

  • 'Antiporno' Review

    Film Review: 'Antiporno'

    New Age philosophies and old-fashioned romance bump heads in “Santa Fe,” the movie. The setting is perfect, but the film is a muddled pastiche of ideas and themes that fails to coalesce into a meaningful drama. Lacking the bite of its convictions, pic faces grim theatrical prospects but could be an OK TV attraction thanks […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content