“Secret Life of Words”

Secret Life of Words

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
May 28, 2007

In the Secret Life of Words, a wounded man and a hearing impaired woman forge an unlikely relationship that transcends romance. They reach an understanding that speaks as much for the affection they hold for one another, as it does their need to simply be recognized.

Academy Award winner Tim Robbins (Bull Durham, The Shawshank Redemption) stars opposite Sarah Polley (The Sweet Hereafter) in this emotional drama directed and written by Isabel Coixet (who also collaborated with Polley in My Life Without Me).

Polley plays Hanna, an emotionally-stilted factory worker who is forced to take a vacation. Instead of jetting off to the Caribbean or the South of France for some sun, Hanna opts for Northern Ireland where she is hired to work as an oil rig nurse, despite the fact that she may never have actually had any medical training.

Robbins portrays Josef, a chatty burn victim who is left temporarily blind, but still has enough life in him to flirt with Hanna. She would rather turn down her hearing aid and make as little contact with others as possible.

Slowly, the two share secrets and help each other recover–him physically, her emotionally.

While the burgeoning love story is a bit implausible, the film does a good job in exploring two characters with complicated backgrounds.

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