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I enjoyed this movie well enough, especially to fold clothes and do other
chores by during a weekday afternoon. The performance by Ted Levine was
excellent... I especially liked the way that he talked aloud during
and to his livestock. I do the same thing, so it was nice to see it
portrayed. Many people may find this movis silly, and may wonder why in
world a husband would ever suggest that his wife bear his brother's
have suffered infertility and also two heartbreaking miscarriages, and
I would never resort to having my brother-in-law's child, I can see how
people would find that to be a viable option. The drive to have a child
be a strong and confusing thing.
I also liked the wife's exposition to her brother-in-law about how a woman is "tricked" when another woman becomes pregnant. I have felt the same thing many times. The fact that the couple had been married for seven years, which is the same length of time that I have been married and childless, resonated with me. Their sadness and longing for a baby does come through in their performances.
While this movie will not appeal to everyone, it did ring true for me. It was somewhat predictable, but sometimes predictability is a comforting thing. It had several strong and obvious themes, such as the loudness of the ticking clock in the childless home (which I have also begun to notice in my home). Also the stud bull which was bought to build a herd is a fairly obvious parallel to the brother, but I did not mind that at all.
There were several ways in which this film could have ended, and any of them would have satisfied me.
This is the story of Jonathan & Mary Grey, a seemingly happy country farm
couple. Jonathan is a hard-working man who desires only to make a good
for his wife & himself. A rather introverted man, his true disappointment
stems from his inability to "fulfill" his wife's great desire to bear a
child. When his brother Aaron returns to the farm after having seen enough
of the world away from his family farm, Jonathan proposes a solution to
problem at hand, unaware of the inevitable complications (which the viewer
sees coming a mile away!). Drama ensues to a somewhat surprising
Cheryl Ladd turns in a fine performance as Mary, as does Lewis Smith as Aaron. But the true star of this film is the ever versatile Ted Levine, who once again demonstrates his great range as one of the most gifted actors on film today. His ability to speak volumes with subtle body language, or a piercing glance alone, further evince his superb talent. His thus far extremely impressive body of work (see Silence of the Lambs, Moby Dick for USA Network, Harlan County Wars for Showtime, to name but a few) all but guarantees bigger & better roles for this fine performer in the future.
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