Days after Marion Crane (Anne Heche) leaves work with a deposit that never makes it to the bank, her boyfriend, her sister, and a private investigator go looking for her and encounter the operator of an isolated motel (Vince Vaughn), who may have been the last person to see her. According to an on-screen title, this adaptation of the 1960 Psycho is set in 1998, but the gentle incongruities among the costumes, dialogue, and social mores make the movie resemble a dream. Plays are created in hopes that they'll be staged by many directors; only convention has persuaded us to think of movies differently—remakes are often evaluated as if originality were somehow quantifiable, absolute, or the necessary objective of art. With this thriller—which is innovative in the extreme to which it takes the practice of copying—director Gus Van Sant reminds us that all forms can be used as blueprints and that hommage may be a euphemism (1998).
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