The Waterdance

Don’t let the subject of this movie–the interactions of three men (Eric Stoltz, Wesley Snipes, and William Forsythe) at a physical rehabilitation center–scare you away from one of the most intelligent, sensitive, serious, subtle, and gripping American movies around. Codirected by Neal Jiminez and Michael Steinberg from an excellent script by Jiminez (who wrote River’s Edge and cowrote For the Boys), this eschews the usual inspirational and sentimental tactics for an honest look at what paraplegics have to deal with, practically, sexually, and emotionally. Stoltz plays a novelist with a devoted girlfriend (Helen Hunt) married to someone else; Snipes is a hard-living teller of tales with a disintegrating marriage; Forsythe is a racist biker. All three actors are uncommonly good at keeping their characters unpredictable and lifelike. Elizabeth Pena costars as a nurse. (Chestnut Station)

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