“Aberjhani at Amazon. com” wrote:
The film THE HEALER (a.k.a. “Julie Walking Home”) poses the kind of unsettling metaphysical questions that many prefer to avoid asking. At the same time, it suggests some intriguing answers. Like the film “The Crime of Father Amaro” the movie “The Healer” is a study of the degrees to which human beings can enjoy the gift of human sexuality while simultaneously attempting to serve as channels for spiritual healing, social harmony, and political integrity. That Alexei–played flawlessly by Lothaire Bluteau–is a true and gifted spiritual healer becomes clear from the outset. We witness him as a child in a hospital where doctors discover that standing him on the back of an ailing patient relieves the patient’s pain. Moreover, his very presence apparently has a healing impact on every patient in the ward. As an adult, Alexei becomes famous as a healer who shares his gifts freely with the world. But like the proverbial prophet without honor in his own hometown, he has to endure the complaints of an aging mother who points out that not only is his spiritual generosity towards the world doing nothing to alleviate her financial distress but it is perhaps not the best way to prepare for his own latter years.
Much of “The Healer” actually centers around the rift that occurs in the life of the Makowskys, a Canadian family whose happiness is torn asunder when the husband–played with superb complexity by William Fichtner–has an affair, and the young son develops cancer. Is the child’s disease a physical manifestation of the family’s spiritual dis-ease following the father’s adultery? Good question to ponder.
In her desperation to save their son, the mother–exemplary work here by Miranda Otto–seeks out the assistance of the healer Alexei. From their very first meeting, the attraction between them is clearly both spiritual and sexual. The child is indeed healed and all returns uneasily to their separate lives. Then Alexei visits the mother and the two have an affair. Their sexual union seems to rob the healer of his ability to help the little boy when his cancer returns. However, ironically, it also results in a pregnancy. Is this a bad thing or a good thing for the family and the healer? Pay close attention to the end and see what you think.
Miranda Otto as Julie Makowsky
Lothaire Bluteau as Alexy
Ryan Smith as Nicholas
William Fichtner as Henry & Bianca Crudo as Nicole
Piotr Kolodziejska as young Alexy