A blind spatial-orientation instructor at a Portugal-based international clinic takes a female patient for an eventful walk in "Imagine," the mostly English-language feature from Polish director Andrzej Jakimowski ("Tricks").

A blind spatial-orientation instructor at a Portugal-based international clinic takes a female patient for an eventful walk in “Imagine,” a mostly English-language feature from Polish director Andrzej Jakimowski (“Tricks”). Beautifully assembled pic, shot in warmly lit widescreen and with a vibrant score, looks at the different options available to help blind people live their lives as fully and independently as possible, even if not all methods are without risk. Though perhaps a technical eye-opener for sighted auds, the film has too little dramatic momentum to expect much of a future beyond fests.

Ian (Bradley Cooper lookalike Edward Hogg, charismatic) teaches at an institution for the visually impaired in a Lisbon monastery, where his unusual methods make him something of a maverick; a perambulation with a shy German woman (Alexandra Maria Lara, OK) suggests he’s practically a miracle worker. Though subsequent events cast doubt on Ian’s abilities and techniques, Jakimowski fails to infuse the ambling story with enough suspense, character insight or drama to continuously engage. Overhead and high-angle shots give a good sense of space, with exemplary soundwork stressing the importance of noise for blind people. Score reps another plus.

Imagine

Poland-France-Portugal

Production

A Zjednoczenie Artystow i Rzemieslnikow, KMBO Prod., Filmes do Tejo II production, in association with Film & Music Entertainment, Canal Plus Cyfrowy, WFDIF, with the participation of Can Do Films, Studio Filmowe Jakimowski. (International sales: Beta Cinema, Oberhaching, Germany.) Produced by Andrzej Jakimowski, Vladimir Kokh, Francois d'Artemare. Co-producers, Mike Downey, Sam Taylor. Directed, written by Andrzej Jakimowski.

Crew

Camera (color, Panavision widescreen), Adam Bajerski; editor, Cezary Grseziuk; music, Tomasz Gassowski; art director, Joao Torres; costume designer, Aleksandra Staszko; sound (Dolby Digital), Guillaume Le Braz; visual effects, Rafal Wieczorek; associate producers, Nicolas Jourdier, Pascal Poirot. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 13, 2012. (Also in Warsaw Film Festival -- opener.) Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Edward Hogg, Alexandra Maria Lara, David Atrakchi, Teresa Madruga, Melchior Derouet, Joao Vaz, Denilson Gomes, Tiago Oliveira. (English, Portuguese, French dialogue)

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