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The Sixth Sense

Not every gift is a blessing.  

Year: 1999 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Malcolm Crowe (Willis) is a successful child psychologist who receives a prestigious professional award for his efforts. Upon returning home he and his wife (Williams, who also starred alongside Bill Murray in `Rushmore’) are attacked by Vincent Gray, a former patient who feels that Crowe failed him, and who then commits suicide.

Months later, disheartened by his past failure, Crowe tries to help Cole Sear (Osment), a young boy whose case is identical to Gray’s; namely that he ``sees dead people walking around like regula people,’’ an experienc which he finds, understandably, terrifying. Cole has kept his gift secret from his mother (Collette), who is nevertheless growing progressively more worried at her son’s odd behaviour, in particular his apparent penchan for self-mutilation (in reality the wounds are inflicted by angry ghosts), and his growing alienation from his classmates and teachers.

Crowe sees Cole’s case as a way of atoning for his failure with Gray, restoring his confidence in his professional abilities and helping repair his relationship with his wife, with whom communications have broken down of late. Gradually, he gains Cole’s trust and helps himcome to terms with his unique perspective on the world, right through to the film’s somewhat unexpected ending.

`The Sixth Sense’ is an enjoyably spooky film, and features a pretty solid performance from Willis (whose acting usually only reaches this standard when he shaves his head; compare `Pulp Fiction’ and `TwelveMonkeys’ with `Die Hard III’, for example). Osment, too, turns in a very credible portrayal of a terrified young child, and Collette (best known for the title role in `Muriel’s Wedding’), likewise, a strong depiction of a mother driven to her wits’ ends by her son’s increasingly odd behaviour.

Nicholas Jackson

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Screenings of this film:

1999/2000 Spring Term (35mm)
1999/2000 Spring Term (35mm)
1999/2000 Spring Term (35mm)
1999/2000 Spring Term (35mm)