The Sensation of Sight

In an awe-inspiring fusion of dream/reality, this offbeat drama about man's search for meaning amidst the ache of despair chronicles Finn (David Strathairn), a middle-aged English teacher, as he enters a midlife crisis ignited by a recent tragedy.
Aaron J. Wiederspahn
David StrathairnIan SomerhalderDaniel Gillies
English [CC]
Audio languages

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Supporting actors
Jane AdamsAnn CusackJoseph MazzelloElisabeth WaterstonScott WilsonLisa BostnarEllen ColtonJohn GriesemerJoanna HerringtonCassidy HinkleAdam LeFevreTony SwingleDavid SzehiJohn PungitoreRich Rothbell
Mark S. ConstanceBuzz McLaughlinDarren MoormanMadeline RyanKaren SampsonDavid StrathairnAaron J. Wiederspahn
Monterey Media
R (Restricted)
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices

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3.7 out of 5 stars

86 global ratings

  1. 48% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 13% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 17% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Carl W. SedonReviewed in the United States on November 10, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Masterpiece of Storytelling, 5 well-earned stars.
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A masterpiece of subtle storytelling. No fanfare, no marvelous camerawork speaking of vistas that are breathless, no actor that requires contractual close-ups and a minimum amount of screen time. Only each element working within the context of the story and delivering an unequaled effort full of pathos and believability. The viewer cannot help but being drawn in to this wonderful piece of magic. Thank you for making this...not for me, but for you, the writer, director and craftsman. You have broadened not only my experiences of 52 years, but have helped connect the dots of discord and dissonance within my own creative life. Again, thank you.
10 people found this helpful
L. J. GrahamReviewed in the United States on August 1, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Artistic Cinema
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What an unexpected find this turned out to be. I found it because I admire David Strathairn's work, and it is a gem! Yes it does feel long in some places, and perhaps that should have reduced it to 4 stars instead of 5, but it seems a minor editing issue to me. If there were such thing as Art Cinemas these days this would have been there.....this doesn't telescope the events for you, you have to let it unfold...restrained and spare in dialogue and sound creating a fragile, isolated mood you will be enveloped in beautiful cinematography as characters and events bloom as the threads of this tale weave together. I don't want to say more for fear of spoiling it for you....suffice to say if you aren't in a hurry allow yourself to go where it takes you, it is a beautiful character study of one man's survival as the story's subtle eye scans his silent fortress of mundane routine. Beautifully rendered, powerful story telling, touching and thought provoking...
7 people found this helpful
sakulinReviewed in the United States on August 21, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
What Did I Fail to See?
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Most of the reviews consider this to be an outstanding piece of cinema but I found it morbid and slow as molasses. A rather dreary looking town inhabited by dreary residents. Took me a while to discover the relationship of the characters none of whom were particularly likable especially the protagonist played by David Stratham. The storylines of all but the school teacher/ used encyclopedia salesman were left hanging at the end. Not my cup of tea, sorry.
A MullyReviewed in the United States on September 26, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Awe-inspiring indeed.
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The film ends in Light, creating insight that transcends hope itself.
The author/director quotes Chesterton "The world will never starve for wonders,
but only want for wonder.", and with exquisite 'simplicity' brings that thought a step further.
There was nothing simple about the making of this film, and the performances, especially David Strathairn's, were
6 people found this helpful
KaseyReviewed in the United States on September 20, 2011
3.0 out of 5 stars
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I can see why this is more a film festival type movie. I got it as I am a Ian Somerhalder fan (well actually Vampire Diaries fan) and was interested in some of the other work he has done. The movie story is about how the events in ones life can mould that persons future. Ian and the book seller are linked through the death of a young boy. The other characters have their own issues but their paths cross those of Ian and the book seller. Ians voice the same but he had longish hair, which I am not used to. Events unfold to the point where the book seller and Ian are greiving about the same situation, at the same time in the same place. The book seller is on the way to recovery but I guess Ian was not - had to put my own interpretation on it. Most memorable two moments - Ian smoking a cigarette and Ian trying to portray grief - his face twisted crying and all I could see was his pretty white teeth (which seemed out of place) and his beautiful face as per Damon Salvador from Vampire Diaries. I am glad his acting has improved but I guess we all have to start somewhere.
One person found this helpful
ChasEshJrReviewed in the United States on January 26, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
"It seems to me that one can't help but wonder 'WHY'"
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Five stars for outstanding performances ! A little too deep(symbolic ?), haven't figured it out yet. I do think,
however, the message they're trying so hard to get across is -- " What's it all about ? ?" Or maybe
"Sensation of Sight" could be construed as "I see" said the blind man !" - - - ???
One person found this helpful
Lynanne P.Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
I thought the same thing then it got better. And those that are saying it is boring ...
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Those saying they couldn't get past the first 15 min should have watch it a little further. I thought the same thing then it got better. And those that are saying it is boring are shallow minded. Simple as that. Good story about getting over grief.
3 people found this helpful
trancelucenceReviewed in the United States on August 14, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Sublime, Profound
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I was gripped from beginning to end, and finally quite overcome. What life is all about, in all its pain and potential glory. From its words to its imagery, simply stunning. I bought it after watching. Sublime and healing.
4 people found this helpful
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