By Chris Gore | December 10, 2001

This film has not yet been reviewed. Check back later for the complete review here on FilmThreat.com. Synopsis: On the heels of her award-winning Monsoon Wedding, the prolific Mira Nair once again proves her incredible range and world-class director status as she moves from a Punjabi nuptial celebration in India to an all-white American world of bridge-and-tunnel bars and row houses. Hysterical Blindness is a wonderfully rich and authentic portrayal of three blue-collar women attempting to build relationships and find meaning in their lives within the cultural boundaries of 1980s’ Bayonne, New Jersey.
Pushing 30, Debby (Uma Thurman) finds herself anxiously single, despite the fact that she and her best friend Beth (Juliette Lewis) spend every night at Ollie’s, the hot-spot dive, searching for Mr. Right. When Rick, a newcomer with “Patrick Swayze eyes,” comes in the bar one night, Debby pegs him as her dream guy. Meanwhile, Beth continually abandons her 10-year-old daughter, Amber, to pursue Bobby the bartender. Debby’s mother, Virginia (Gena Rowlands), head-waitresses at the Skyway’s Diner and meets a gentle retiree wanting more than just friendship. In spite of the energy the women invest in finding a mate, preserving their relationship with each other is their primary desire. But it is this bond that lurches out of balance when the men in their lives threaten to take their love away.
Nair’s attention to detail creates an impeccable sense of place, while Thurman and Lewis give what can easily be considered career-best performances. They are women whose panic and desire for love burn so brightly that it blinds them to what is obvious to see.

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