Despite poor domestic box-office earnings, director Peter Weir earned well-deserved critical acclaim for this underrated drama. Weir's subtle use of visual symbolism includes sun-cast reflections, danger-yielding construction signage, and "forbidden fruit" (strawberries play an important supporting role), imparting a mystical overtone to what is essentially a psychological character study. Jeff Bridges' unnerving performance is typically understated, while Oscar-nominee Rosie Perez forgoes her usual histrionics to convincingly portray a mother in the throes of clinical depression, who discovers that her infant son is only the first of several important relationships she must give up. It is in the character of airline psychiatrist Bill Pearlman (John Turturro) that the film falters, never revealing the true nature of the malady suffered by the hero and instead using Turturro's character as a transparent narrative device. Weir's juxtaposition of calming, classical music during a flashback to the horrific airplane crash, when most directors would have staged the event like an action sequence, results in the perfect culmination of the film's overall mood of eerie transcendence.