Felicia's Journey (film)
Poster for the movie
|Directed by||Atom Egoyan|
|Written by||based on novel by William Trevor|
Felicia's Journey is a 1999 British film starring Elaine Cassidy and Bob Hoskins, based on a prize-winning 1994 novel by William Trevor, and directed by Atom Egoyan. It was entered into the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.
Felicia (Elaine Cassidy), an Irish teenager, travels to Birmingham, England, hoping to find the boyfriend who made her pregnant but who then left Ireland without leaving an address. She accepts the help of a middle-aged man (Bob Hoskins), who appears friendly but whose secret and sinister backstory is gradually revealed. Details of Felicia's relationships with her boyfriend Johnny, who joined the British Army, and her father, who disapproves of her relationship with a British soldier, are also recounted in flashback.
After taking a ferry to England and beginning a hopeless search to find the lawnmower factory in Birmingham where she believes Johnny now works, Felicia encounters an older man, Joseph Hilditch (Bob Hoskins), a catering manager at a factory, who is also the son of Gala (Arsinée Khanjian), an eccentric TV chef who enjoyed fame in past decades. Hilditch regularly watches the old programmes of his presumably-deceased mother while he cooks her recipes and collects material about her. Hilditch offers to help Felicia; however, his motives for doing so are initially unclear, and it is subsequently suggested through flashback sequences that he has in the past befriended but then turned on vulnerable young women.
Hilditch refers Felicia to a bed and breakfast and offers to drive her to a factory that he suggests could be the one she is looking for, which is on the way to the hospital where the unmarried Hilditch claims he is going to visit his wife. Felicia fails to find Johnny at the factory; but, while she is out of the car, Hilditch goes through her bags and steals her money. Subsequently, Felicia comes across a Jamaican Christian witness who offers Felicia a free overnight stay at a church home. While staying at the hostel, Felicia discovers that her money has gone and, after appearing to accuse others at the home of stealing the money, flees the hostel for Hilditch's house.
Hilditch has meanwhile discovered Johnny's whereabouts, in the barracks where he is still serving with the British Army, but does not disclose this to Felicia. He does however tell her that his wife has died and that she suggested that Felicia abort her unborn child. After the abortion, which Hilditch pays for, he takes her back to his house and gives her an overdose of sleeping pills. As she is passing out he explains that he has 'helped' many other vulnerable girls but 'lays them to rest' when they decide it is time to leave him. While digging out in his garden, the Jamaican Christian parishioner and a new convert enter his yard and begin to preach about Jesus. The Christian reveals that Felicia had told her about Hilditch, saying he was a kind but troubled man. Hilditch feels flashes of guilt and confesses that he did, in fact, steal from and cheat Felicia so that she would return to him. He explains that he feels lonely, and the horrified Christians get up and leave. Upstairs in the house, Felicia awakens from her sleep and struggles down the stairs. Hilditch finds her trying to escape the house but allows her to leave. He later walks to his kitchen, where he hangs himself with a pair of tights.
- Bob Hoskins - Joe Hilditch
- Arsinée Khanjian - Gala
- Elaine Cassidy - Felicia
- Sheila Reid - Iris
- Nizwar Karanj - Sidney
- Ali Yassine - Customs Officer
- Peter McDonald - Johnny Lysaght
- Kriss Dosanjh - Salesman
- Gerard McSorley - Felicia's Father
- Marie Stafford - Felicia's Great Grandmother (as Máire Stafford)
The soundtrack features Irish-language songs by Randalstown, County Antrim singer Kate Crossan, with Ulster song "Coinleach Ghlas An Fhómhair" as a recurring track throughout the film. The song uses arrangement used by Clannad on their Magical Ring album. The closing theme of the film is Tiocfaidh an Samhradh (Summer will Come).
- "Festival de Cannes: Felicia's Journey". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
- Felicia's Journey at the Internet Movie Database
- Felicia's Journey at Box Office Mojo
- Felicia's Journey at Rotten Tomatoes