Working Miracles | A gem of a film and a triumphant comeback for director Bradford May (Mortal Sins, Ice, Darkman II: The Return of Durant). At first glance, this could be seen as another fluff Hollywood piece. However in May's best films, the script is not the only thing that is telling a story. As the film begins, the audience is bombarded with scene after scene of tremendously happy people telling each other tremendously happy things. The instant a supporting character mentions he is ill, reality finally sets in. There is no indication in the script that these people are inadvertently living in Pleasantville, so it is one of May's interesting tone shifts he accomplishes through his actors' performances. This back-and-forth design between extreme happiness and truthful reality repeats throughout the entire film and becomes a theme: 'people telling each other what they want to hear to be happy' vs. 'the cold, sobering truth.' And this is not even the premise of the story! This is where it might sound a bit Hollywood. A not-too-smart, but good looking janitor (meek faced Eddie Cibrian of CSI: Miami fame) discovers after a near-fatal accident that he has acquired powers that can physically heal others. In what first sounds like a reconfiguration of John Travolta's Phenomenon character, there is a nice twist to this blessing/curse. It takes a toll on the lead character's own health in order to heal someone. The doctor here implies that it functions like an immune system that can work on other people, but to make it work comes at too high a cost for the janitor. The film is built on so many ironies that it is intriguing where it goes. Main character wants to heal, but it hurts him, his sick uncle does not want to be healed, and just when the town thinks they have a hero... he quickly becomes the villain in their eyes when a couple healing attempts go awry. Despite this being promoted as some possible religious film, Bradford May provides another irony by intentionally adding sexual innuendo to one of the miracles when man heals fiance. Bradford May's past work as a Director of Photography is still apparent with its dark, moody, but pleasing beautiful lighting. As seen in a number of his films, his analyses on neurotic figures still continue into this film. The truth is that we can not help everyone. As indicated by his underrated status in the world of cinema, this reviewer does not think everyone can enjoy a Bradford May film (and some may be put off by this film's overwhelming use of pop songs like in the case of my #2 pick [The Best of 2009: (500) Days of Summer]), but this should be recommended for its fascinating thematic and directorial choices made by a unique filmmaker.