An innovative and world famous theatre director, Robert Lepage has also established a considerable reputation in the cinema. His first film in English, Possible Worlds is a playful and beautifully constructed adaptation of a play by John Mighton.
At the centre of this elegant brainteaser is George (Tom McCamus), a man who believes in the existence of infinite parallel realities, or ‘possible worlds’. In one of these countless parallel universes, George and Joyce (Tilda Swinton) grew up in the same small town and have been married most of their lives. In another, they meet as strangers and have a casual affair. In yet another world, Joyce has never before seen George.
The intriguing premise poses all kinds of questions about existence and consciousness, but what threatens to develop into an intellectual puzzle is handled with considerable humour and subtlety by Lepage. The film flirts amusingly with the cliches of the crime movie (it opens with two none-too-bright detectives investigating George’s death) and science fiction (one of the murder suspects in a mad scientist), but Lepage is finally more interested in an Alain Resnais-like exploration of memory and romance. 2000. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 93 mins.