Stay – Filtered
Dedicated New York psychiatrist Sam Foster (Ewan McGregor) tries to stop a secretive and unusual young patient he inherited, Henry Lethem (Ryan Gosling), from carrying out a planned suicide on the eve of his 21st birthday. But Henry starts to have a reality-shattering effect on Sam. As Sam is drawn deeper into the web of Henry’s life — and then into the labyrinth of his subconscious — at first it simply puts stress on Sam’s relationship with his artist girlfriend and former patient Lila (Naomi Watts). But soon Sam’s own tightly-held grip on the rational world begins to melt away. Faced with increasingly surreal encounters and a Manhattan transformed into a wildly shifting dreamscape, Sam can no longer figure out what is true and what is happening only in his head, nor where he begins and Henry ends.
“Stay” uses beautiful imagery and has great camera work, but it is an extremely confusing film. When a psychiatrist played by Ewan McGregor starts treating a patient named Henry, he gradually loses his grip on reality as the things he sees and hears no longer correspond to what he believes to be true. The psychiatrist talks to Henry’s mother, only to be told later that Henry’s parents were killed several months ago; he goes to Henry’s apartment and hears his own voice on Henry’s answering machine, but insists he never left that message. By the end of the film I had no idea what was really happening; I thought the film might be portraying two alternate universes. Only after watching the special features did I realize what had really been going on. Even with the Clear Play filter, the film contains too much language and violence to be approved by Dove. People begin bleeding from head wounds for seemingly no reason in the film; a violent car crash is depicted in which several people are killed; and suicide is a major theme throughout the movie.