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.
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Thirty-five year old spinster and virgin Rachel Cameron is a sad, lonely woman. She lives in the small town of Japonica, Connecticut where she grew up. She teaches second grade at Japonica Elementary School and lives with her highly demanding widowed mother (her funeral director father passed away fourteen years ago) in the same apartment above a funeral home where she grew up, despite the home now not owned by them. Rachel often uses her mother as an excuse not to do things. Rachel represses her emotions, and is prone to daydreaming to envision alternate paths for herself in certain situations if she only had the nerve to do those things. Even when Nick Kazlik, a childhood acquaintance who has returned to Japonica for a summer visit with his family, makes it clear that he wants to have fun with her while he's in town, she can't act on his request out of fear of the unknown. But after a couple of incidents with her only real friend Calla Mackie, who is a fellow teacher at the school, ... Written by
In pretty much every movie where I've seen Joanne Woodward, she does a great role, and "Rachel, Rachel" (directed by her husband Paul Newman) is no exception. Woodward plays Rachel Cameron, a schoolteacher in a conservative, repressive small town. Various incidents from her childhood have long haunted her, and she still lives with - and has to take care of - her needy mother. Without a doubt she's unfulfilled in life, but she basically has no way to escape this existence. But things just might change when childhood friend Nick (James Olson) returns to town after spending many years in the big city.
By barely moving her face, Woodward conveys many emotions in this movie: anguish, cynicism, hope, and more. I would suspect that "Rachel, Rachel" probably played into the burgeoning feminist movement, but moreover it showed the complete break from "traditional" American mores (after all, what characterized the '60s more than that?). Nineteen sixty-eight was certainly a great year for movies: along with this one, there was "Planet of the Apes", "Romeo & Juliet", "2001", "The Odd Couple", "Bullitt", "Charly" and "Yellow Submarine". Definitely one that I recommend.
Also starring Geraldine Fitzgerald.
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