Felicia is unmarried, pregnant, and penniless. She steals away from a small Irish town and drifts through the industrial English Midlands, searching for the boyfriend who left her. Instead she meets up with Mr. Hilditch, who is looking for a new friend to join the five other girls in his Memory Lane. But strange, sad, terrifying tricks of chance unravel both his and Felicia’s delusions in a story that will magnetize fans of Alfred Hitchcock and Ruth Rendell, even as it resonates with William Trevor’s own “impeccable strength and piercing profundity” (The Washington Post Book World).
Felicia’s Journey is a simple tale told with a subtle complexity. Felicia is an Irish country girl who has come to England to look for her jilted lover. Hilditch is a mild-mannered, gentle psychopath who lures the helpless Felicia into his trap. Interestingly, we see the story from each character’s eyes when they are separate, but from Hilditch’s view when they are together. It is an unusual and effective device that distorts the perspective and adds texture to a classic story. Trevor won a Whitbread Prize in 1994 for Felicia’s Journey.
Danna offers a strange experiment on this score to Atom Egoyan’s wistful and sinister film. He combines his familiar Celtic dirges, the nail-grating violins associated with Bartók, and some scattered traces of evil, backward-looping noises. Danna also (probably inadvertently) forges an under-explored link between New Age and the easy-listening style once referred to as “Beautiful Music.” Oddly, the most intriguing elements are the reverberant Mantovani-style strings, none of which is Danna’s own creation. He instead takes them directly from old and uncredited…
Like Hitchcock, Atom Egoyan envisions family life as a potential hotbed of literal or figurative violence and incest. In Felicia’s Journey, Egoyan’s adaptation of William Trevor’s shattering novel, one dreads to imagine what TV-cook mom (Arsinée Khanjian) did to so damage her pudgy son that grown- up Hilditch (Bob Hoskins) still prepares meals in perfect unison with faded videotapes of her show—and, as we eventually discover, often takes more sinister trips down Memory Lane. Distant kin to Psycho’s Tony Perkins, Hoskins’s troll is so obsessive, so…