Carte Blanche

106 minutes 2015

A car crash—portrayed in one of those unnerving digital shots that show a vehicle racing into the lens through a character’s side window—kills an old woman and leaves her driver (Andrzej Chyra), a quiet high school teacher, with retinal damage that gradually reduces his sight to a narrow, blurry field of vision. Toughing it out, he manages to pass for sighted, teaching his classes and even chaperoning a student trip, though the ruse can’t go on forever. Writer-director Jacek Lusiński, who based this on a true story, generates a fair amount of suspense as the teacher’s predicament is taking shape, but a game-changing romance with a fellow teacher, who’s oblivious to his handicap, makes the premise suddenly seem a lot hokier. Oddly, Lusiński does little with the emotional hangover one might expect from the crash, preferring such plot devices as the hero memorizing an eye chart to pass an optometry exam. In Polish with subtitles.

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