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Rachel is a 35 year old school teacher who has no man in her life and lives with her mother. When a man from the big city returns and asks her out, she begins to have to make decisions about her life and where she wants it to go. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A gentle, rich1y emotional, melancholy but, amazingly, never depressing experience
In a variation on her "Long Hot Summer" role, Woodward plays a sexually repressed schoolteacher in a small New England town who realizes that life is passing her by She is thirty-five, a virgin, and dominated by her mother During the summer, she has an affair with an old schoolmate It proves disappointing, but she now knows that she can be loving, and determines to leave town and do something about her lifea move that seems only tentatively hopeful
Woodward gives her finest performance as the confused, frequently beaten but ultimately indestructible woman She has an extraordinary ability to look natural or simple and still reveal an inner radiance
There are many touching moments: her timidness at the religious meeting; her awkward experiences with men; her late-night discussion with a likable male friend; and, most unforgettable, her face causing change from joyous expectancy to merely suppressed hysteria to a painful outburst of tears when she discovers that, contrary to her hopes, she is not pregnant...
Newman shows a natural cinematic sense in his perceptive depictions of small town life, the frenzied activity of a revival meeting and the anxieties of a first sexual experience; and in his clever, rarely impressive juxtaposition of Rachel's present with her fantasies and childhood memories He gets excellent performances from Estelle Parsons as another lonely teacher and James Olson as the cynical big-city man who lets Rachel down
Both Newman and Woodward won Golden Globe Awards Woodward won the coveted New York Film Critics' Award, and was nominated for an Oscar
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