Adapted from an eerie, drifting novel, Luminous Motion is a road trip in the hallucinatory sense. Young Phillip (Eric Lloyd) really loves his mother. As played by Deborah Unger, she's an irreverent force of nature that is boozy, sultry, wacky, and lonely, depending on one's point of view. And, to its credit, the film does attempt to present multiple points of view. Phillip obsesses over his mother and the untethered freedom of their transient lifestyle; it is only when she takes up with a pleasant carpenter named Pedro (Terry Kinney) that his intentions become murderous, as instructed by an apparition of his separated father.
The novelistic form affords a psychological intensity that rarely translates to film. Luminous Motion is very open-ended, either a fractured portrait of one child's psychosis or a dully moody film.
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