Picks and Pans Review: Stay

updated 10/31/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/31/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Ryan Gosling, Bob Hoskins

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The mysteries of the mind are the subject of this fever-dream of a movie, but audiences may find themselves focusing instead on a character's exposed ankles. How come dapper Sam Foster (McGregor), a psychiatrist trying to prevent a despondent college student (Gosling) from committing suicide, wears ped socks with his brogues and pants hemmed floodwater high?

Dr. Foster's distracting fashion statement is never explained, which is par for the course in Stay up until a final so-that's-what-was-going-on twist. By then, many viewers will have lost interest. One keeps hoping to care more because this isn't a dumb movie, but the increasingly disoriented characters never rise above puzzle pieces that director Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) moves about in a sort of fugue state. McGregor, Watts (as Sam's girlfriend) and Gosling all maintain a commendable intensity, but their efforts can't save what in the end is a slight sleight-of-mind trick. (R)

COMEDY DRAMA

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