Sam Foster (Ewan McGregor – Big Fish, Moulin Rouge!) is a psychiatrist at an Ivy League college. He is replacing colleague Dr. Beth Levy (Janeane Garofalo – Dogma, The Cable Guy), who is on a leave. He takes over her patients, one of whom is Henry Letham (Ryan Gosling – Murder By Numbers, The Notebook). Henry is a talented art student at the university who says he is hearing voices and feels responsible for his parents' deaths. Letham declares to Foster that he plans to kill himself that Saturday at 12:00, three days from the present. Foster is concerned so he visits a colleague Dr. Ren (B.D. Wong – The Salton Sea, Jurassic Park), who works at a mental institution. Dr. Ren says that he can only keep Letham for 48 unless he threatens to hurt someone else. Foster is quite upset about this patient and it starts to really affect him. His girlfriend Lila Culpepper (Naomi Watts – The Ring, Tank Girl), who has attempted suicide herself in the past, notices a change in Sam and starts to worry about him. Foster seeks some advice about the case from his colleague, Dr. Leon Patterson (Bob Hoskins – Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Beyond the Sea). Letham shows up suddenly and is convinced that Dr. Patterson is his dead father. The more Foster goes on the more his own mind becomes very muddled and we begin to worry for his sanity. Foster starts a desperate search to try and find Letham in the hopes of stopping him before he kills himself.
Why is it that every film that does not fit neatly into the drama or comedy categories is classified as a thriller? Hey, people there are other genres! Despite what other critics have said, I would not classify this film as a thriller; it seems more a psychological drama to me. This film does not have one twist in it like The Sixth Sense; it keeps you guessing even after the film is over. It seems that director Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Monster's Ball) and screenwriter David Benioff (Troy, 25th Hour) want to make a film that confuses you, demands that you pay attention to every frame and will have you thinking about it long after you leave the theatre. Director Marc Forster uses lighting, weird camera angles and many special effects (done by a Montreal company) in order to convey a feeling of confusion and heighten the tension in the film. The director really uses the film to portray the confusion that is going on in Sam's head. He is a fairly new director and I think he has a good future ahead of him making intelligent films. The acting by Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts and especially Ryan Gosling is first rate. I think that it is not a film for everyone because it does not explain everything or even anything to the viewer. Many people will not understand it and therefore be frustrated. It is a film where the same character is called by two different names, people start just spontaneously bleeding, and the blind can see again. While watching the film you fall prey to making a million different theories about it when really once you get to the ending it is quite simple and that in itself is confusing. It is definitely one of those rare movies that you can watch again and enjoy just as much as the first time – maybe even more. There is nothing within the film that means nothing, even if it seems so on the surface, think about it and it will all fit in with the ending. If you like a movie which forces you to think, ignore the trailers for Stay (they are misleading) and see it!
-The Music of 'Stay'