review for Twice Upon a Yesterday on AllMovie

Twice Upon a Yesterday (1998)
by Karl Williams review

A charming comic fantasy that was a hit with film festival crowds but failed to spark much critical or box-office interest, this directorial debut of Maria Ripoll is more melancholy than one might expect, given its inherently fanciful subject matter, but the magical realist Spanish-British co-production is nevertheless quite entertaining and contains nuggets of psychological insight amidst its more imaginative plot machinations. The performances are solid across the board, although the appearance of Elizabeth McGovern in a very minor supporting role suggests she's going to be crucial to the plot; her subsequent disappearance is a distraction. As the film's lead, Douglas Henshall is convincing as a confused Brit who becomes a victim of fate's whims, while Lena Headey delivers a fine performance that's somewhat overshadowed by the radiance of future star Penelope Cruz. Making the argument that individual decisions are the result of both guilt and fate, Twice Upon a Yesterday (1997) is a fascinating film with weighty issues on its mind. Originally released under the title The Man With Rain in His Shoes, the picture was written by popular Spanish singer/songwriter Rafa Russo, who also contributes to the soundtrack.