By People Staff
December 22, 1980 12:00 PM

A car accident leaves Ellen Burstyn clinically dead. For several minutes she is “on the other side,” awash in bright light and familiar old faces. Through the miracle of modern medicine, she recovers to find she has somehow acquired the gift of healing. Screenwriter Lewis John Carlino, who directed The Great Santini, convincingly suggests how such a gift might be as much a curse as a blessing. Yet director Daniel (The Betsy) Petrie seems unsure whether he’s making a sci-fi movie or an affecting drama; the result is an uneasy compromise saved only by remarkable performances. Stage veteran Eva Le Gallienne is moving as Burstyn’s grandmother, and playwright Sam Shepard plays the son of a religious zealot with the same dark intensity he displayed in Days of Heaven. At the heart of the film is Burstyn—she is intelligent, compassionate and, when necessary, humorous. As an ordinary woman attempting to cope with an extraordinary power, Burstyn proves once again that she is no ordinary actress. (PG)