Director: Paul Schrader

Juvenal (Skeet Ulrich), whose touch can heal the sick, is a saint for the nineties; he takes things – and people – pretty much as he finds them. An enterprising ‘minister’, Bill Hill (Christopher Walken), upon discovering Juvenal’s gift, sees him as a way to get out of selling recreational vehicles and back to selling God (hopefully making a few million dollars along the way). People at the rehab centre, where Juvenal works, are protective of their resident wonder worker. Lynn (a stunning Bridget Fonda) is pressurised by Bill to pass herself off as an alcoholic in order to infiltrate the rehab and get close to the enigmatic Juvenal. Lynn is immediately drawn to his simplicity and selflessness, and they fall in love, but Juvenal’s faith in Lynn – and himself – is deeply tested by events that follow.
A wild and wonderful supporting cast, including Tom Arnold, Janeane Garofalo, Gina Gershon and Paul Mazursky all plug into the ensuing confusion with some manic performances. How does a man with the wounds of Christ survive in a cynical world of greed, religious fanatics and trashy tv talk shows? This gripping and thought-provoking comedy, adapted for the screen and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Paul Schrader, is based on an Elmore Leonard (Jackie Brown, Get Shorty) novel, and as such it has his trademark wit and colourful dialogue applied to a spectrum of imaginative characters.
Schrader’s attraction to the themes of the novel, (isolation, society’s treatment of outcasts, corruption of individuals), will be obvious to those familiar with his earlier work (including the Taxi Driver and Raging Bull screenplays). Touch deals with an unusual subject for the man described as the master of the contemporary crime novel, but fans of Leonard will not be surprised to find that it is littered with his usual catalogue of bizarre plot twists and dynamic character interaction. The film should also be a curio for rock fans, as the kaleidoscopic score is written by Dave Grohl, ex-Nirvana.

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