Bob Balaban's dark comic horror about a young boy suspecting his suburban parents to be cannibals
Hollywood granted a short-lived amnesty for aliens with Spielberg's often spellbinding and technically flawless sci-fi epic... We are not alone
The story has obsessive Dreyfuss chasing UFOs and racing a US government which is spinning tales of chemical leaks to keep the curious away.
The casting of French new-wave director Truffaut as the kind ufologist is inspired, and (at least on the big screen) the effects are breathtaking and audacious, while John Williams' score - for once integral to the plot - adds beauty to the proceedings.
There's a long-deleted producer's cut which is for once more dramatically satisfying, showing more of Dreyfuss's obsession while leaving the interior of the mother ship to the imagination. It's interesting to compare Bob Ballaban's account of the shoot with producer Phillips's bitchy 'You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again'. Balaban mentions what a lovely producer she is, while she doesn't even honour a supporting actor with a mention.
Another classic from Spielberg's most fertile period.
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On Film4: 15 December 2013