Joel Rothman (Jonas Chernick of “The Border” and “7x Lucky”), a thirty-two-year-old psychotherapist, is having trouble sleeping. His wife has left him after an adulterous incident at the cottage. He fills the hours of insomnia obsessively listening to her final angry voicemail message and drawing sheep on the wall. He finds it tough to work and, worse, can no longer communicate with his distressed daughter – not to mention the notable decline of his driving skills.

Joel’s newest patients are suffering from various symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and, under his compromised care, are getting increasingly worse. Victor (Callum Keith Rennie of “Memento”, “The Butterfly Effect” and “Falling Angels”), an unpredictably volcanic well of anger and frustration, believes that he is the subject of a secret government experiment. Chandra (Michelle Nolden of “Show Me”, “Men with Brooms” and “Ghost Whisperer”), soft-spoken and suffering from low self-esteem, is convinced that the city is mysteriously shrinking around her. Sophie (Lindy Booth of “Cry Wolf”, “Dawn of the Dead” and “Rub and Tug”), a beautiful young woman with a consuming addiction to prescription medication, believes that she is immortal.

Hitting rock bottom, Joel’s life has completely unravelled and he is in serious danger of losing his job. He even begins to hear profanities erupting from a children’s cartoon show. Although Joel persists in trying to understand what is happening to him and his charges, he has become as unstable as they are and the line between doctor and patient is starting to blur.

The black humour of Lucid’s script, a collaboration between Garrity and Chernick, plays to the actor’s gift for clever repartee and to his natural vulnerability. Strong performances from the entire cast lend a precise realism to Garrity’s strange, illusory world, in which Joel must confront, decipher and conquer the puzzle-like realm of his psyche.

Sean Garrity’s Inertia won the award for Best First Feature at the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival. His inventive visual style and strong sense of character announced a significant new talent on the Canadian scene. Lucid, which is full of Garrity’s keen sense of atmosphere and complex personal interactions, sees him venture into darker, more unpredictable dramatic territory.

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