US movie (1991). Paramount. Pr Lindsay Doran, Charles H Maguire. Exec pr Sydney Pollack. Dir Kenneth Branagh. Spfx Steve Foster, Gregg Hendrickson, Frank Toro. Screenplay Scott Frank. Starring Branagh (Roman Strauss/Mike Church), Andy Garcia (Gray Baker), Gregor Hesse (Frankie), Derek Jacobi (Franklyn Madson), Wayne Knight ("Piccolo" Pete Dougan), Hanna Schygulla (Inga), Emma Thompson (Margaret Strauss/Grace/ Amanda Sharp). 108 mins. B/w and colour.
Decades ago Margaret Strauss was murdered and her husband Roman executed for the crime. Now there comes convincing evidence that an amnesiac woman is a Reincarnation of Margaret. Calling her "Grace", private eye Church, mysteriously attracted to her, investigates, and eventually believes he is a reincarnation of Roman; in fact regression hypnosis reveals the genders have been swapped – he was Margaret and Grace was Roman. After much tortuous plot, the true murderer is unmasked and the couple look forward to a happy future together. DA was released among the wave of attempted emulators of the hugely popular Ghost (1990), although it is a very different movie in style, complexity, ambition, psychological insight and theme. The complex plot was little liked by the critics, although it is well worked-out and clearly enough told, and is largely responsible for DA being of such interest to those literate in the fantasy genre. [JG]