Free Association on a Friday Afternoon

This afternoon, I find myself with an inexplicable hankering for “Touch of Grey.”

So, here. Because Internet.

Which, of course, makes me think of Spider Man.

Obvious, right?

…or perhaps not so obvious. My mind can be a bit labyrinthine at times, even to me. So I had to tease it out a bit. J. K. Simmons. He’s the middle term. A great scenery-and-cigar-chewing character actor. And the star of a charming indie film from a few years back called The Music Never Stopped, described thusly by “a good friend:”

Based on renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks‘ The Last Hippie, it tells the story of Henry and Helen Sawyer as they struggle to rehabilitate their prodigal son Gabriel from the effects of a devastating brain tumor.

…Henry, whose pig-headed, domineering personality played a significant part in their estrangement, refuses to relinquish his son without a fight. Henry discovers that there is a way through the nearly perpetual darkness and silence that surrounds Gabriel—a wildly improbable, wonderfully fitting way for him to once again communicate with his son: music. When Gabriel hears the music he loved most dearly during his formative years—the now-famous sounds of such artists as Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and The Grateful Dead—he comes to life, recalling with vivid detail the events for which their music served as a melodic backdrop.

Bingo. “Touch of Grey” is the highlight of the film’s cathartic denouement.

If you’ve seen the film, click here and revel in it once again. If you haven’t seen the film, though, don’t click. Much better to experience it for yourself, in its proper narrative and emotional place. Which should be fairly easy, since it’s available from Hulu (if you’ve got a subscription) or from Crackle (if you’ve got a strong stomach for the random occurrence of commercials). Simmons is fantastic in it — especially if you’ve had little-to-no previous experience with a non-blustery, non-JJJ version of the guy. His range and nuance were real revelations to me, and I heartily recommend it. But not just because he’s good. It’s a wonderful film all around, particularly in its account of the rough edges that so easily spring up between family members, and of the need to smooth over those edges for the sake of a greater good. (It really sticks in one’s head, apparently. Though not always for easily-identifiable reasons.)

The soundtrack’s not bad, either.

Attribution(s): All publicity images and movie stills are the property of Roadside Attractions and other respective production studios and distributors, and are intended for editorial use only.

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