Veteran writer and director Alan Rudolph has always been interested in the dramatics and dynamics of intimacy. In Afterglow, one of the best films of his 15-year career, he charts the breakdowns in two marriages.

Following a startling epiphany and the departure of their daughter, Lucky (Nick Nolte), a contractor in Montreal, has begun a series of affairs while his depressed wife Phyllis (Julie Christie in an Academy Award-nominated performance), a former actress, sits in their home watching old movies she starred in years ago. Then Marianne (Lara Flynn Boyle), whose desperate desire for a baby has alienated her from her career-obsessed husband Jeffrey (Jonny Lee Miller), falls madly in love with Lucky.

In this adult fairy tale, Rudolph reveals that in every marriage no matter how deep the pain or how harrowing the lack of communication, there is always the chance of finding the way back to love. And the path, as Afterglow portrays, usually involves the spiritual practice of forgiveness.