Albany, New York, Halloween, 1938. Francis Phelan and Helen Archer are bums, back in their birth city. She was a singer on the radio, he a major league pitcher. Death surrounds them: she's sick, a pal has cancer, he digs graves at the cemetery and visits the grave of his infant son whom he dropped; visions of his past haunt him, including ghosts of two men he killed. That night, out drinking, Helen tries to sing at a bar. Next day, Fran visits his wife and children and meets a grandson. He could stay, but decides it's not for him. Helen gets their things out of storage and finds a hotel. Amidst their mistakes and dereliction, the film explores their code of fairness and loyalty. Written by
The scene in The Bird in a Gilded Gage, where Meryl Streep sings, the Mayor of Albany, Tom Whalen is an extra. The scene was shot in what was the Boulevard Cafeteria and has been operated as Restaurant Paridiso at Central Avenue and Robin Street in Albany, NY. The Boulevard Cafeteria was a famous hangout for students at the New York State Teachers' College (now UAlbany)and it was famous for its nude murals, its coffee and black and white cookies. See more »
The movies takes place in 1938. The diner used in the movie, Miss Albany Diner, is a Silk City model manufactured in 1941. See more »
Cold, desolate in the surface and an uncomfortable warmth in the inside. Meryl Streep leads in a way that is difficult to explain. She provides a truly magic movie moment when she sings "He's My Pal" for her supper. For a moment we live her fantasy. Her moment is our moment, that's why as the song and the fantasy ends something inside me cracked. I felt tears running down my face and, I swear, I wasn't ready for that. The humanity of Meryl Streep, the actress, filters through the devastating circumstances of her character. Circumstances that, by the time we meet her, are already a way of life. At the beginning of the film, when somebody asks her how is she, her reply is "Delightful". Trying to adjust to this character I listen to her stained, tired voice, trying to be heard and I did, heard her. I love Meryl Streep.
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