Jeff Daniels's Across the Way
orbiting around his charming and smug New England setting.
Jeff Daniels's Across the Way has some of that same chemistry. As with Our Town, its minimalist surrealism and jumpy chronology make it sound like art house fare, best served to hypersophisticated audiences who have outgrown reality programming. Instead, it becomes apparent very soon into the production that it's going to be astonishingly beautiful, poignant, and completely comprehensible, in a right-side-of-the-brain sort of way.
Across the Way is the surreal dream that takes place in the mind of a dying woman, Ellie (played by Michelle Mountain). People from her past now mostly dead come alive to enact scenes that did happen, didn't happen, couldn't have happened, sort of happened, fading in and out, as dreams do. Daniels's characters glow with joy, wit, and tenderness, delighting in finding meaning and connections in Ellie's mind that their linear, chronological lives couldn't reveal to any of them in life.