Welcome to guest reviewer Ilene Rubenstein, who,  until her recent retirement, was the LRC Writing Programs Coordinator at CSU Northridge.  She settled into the desert life a year ago and currently is a part time faculty liaison at COD.


The Perfect Stranger is a charming little movie starring Colm Meany playing Irishman Mark O’Reilly.   

O’Reilly’s arrival to a small village on a Mediterranean island piques the interest of a diverse group of residents who appear unexpectedly in his life.   We don’t know why this stranger  is in town.  His intentions are hidden behind an old photograph he periodically looks at and as we watch him take many trips to the countryside, snapping pictures of odd formations in the landscapes, we are somewhat befuddled.  On the other hand, we learn a lot about the townspeople—two policemen, one open and kind, the other believing only the worst about people; a young boy who is mostly ignored by his family; a troubled young girl; a woman determined to have a baby.  All the residents share one belief about the stranger—they all think he’s going to reopen an old shop and bring the town to life.  We laugh at the communication gaffes (O’Reilly and the townspeople don’t speak each others’ language).  But we come to understand that these gaffes fulfill the townspeople’s needs (hence the movie title).  Ultimately, with a series of unexpected twists, the movie challenges us to re-consider traditional beliefs about  communication and reinforces the notion of redemption and second chances.

This film is not yet rated, and will premier in Spain in March.