A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local.
Evelyn Couch is having trouble in her marriage, and no one seems to take her seriously. While in a nursing home visiting relatives, she meets Ninny Threadgoode, an outgoing old woman, who tells her the story of Idgie Threadgoode, a young woman in 1920's Alabama. Through Idgie's inspiring life, Evelyn learns to be more assertive and builds a lasting friendship of her own with Ninny. Written by
In July 2008, afterellen.com reported that Mary-Louise Parker said that she, her costar Mary Stuart Masterson, and screenwriter (and original novel author) Fannie Flagg were all strong advocates for depicting in the film the lesbian relationship between Ruth and Idgie that had appeared in the book, but the director, Jon Avnet, and the producers of the film chose instead to excise the romance and just make the two characters into friends. In the DVD extras, Avnet does say that he considered Idgie and Ruth's food fight scene in the movie as an analogy for a love scene between the two that he chose not to include. See more »
At film end as camera starts pan across Café front, first hanging 'tin' sign is for 2 liter soda 89c. Liters didn't come into U.S. sales until PepsiCo introduced the first two liter sized soft drink bottle in 1970, likely long after Whistle Stop decline. See more »
Consummate story-telling, served well by superlative performances
Fannie Flagg's novel of immense complexity (huge cast and innumerable separate stories) could have been impossible to film. However, it is made possible, in large part, by the performances of Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary Louise Parker in what should have been billed as the lead roles. They play the two southern women who's joint story this movie revolves around. Jessica Tandy's role is to relate the story to a lost and longing Kathy Bates (in modern times). Director Jon Avnet ties the two together nicely at times, awkwardly at times, but always (except the end) without doing damage to either. He (and the production crew) bring to life a 'peaceful' southern town very nicely.
The two Marys manage to convey the fullness of a complex relationship with apparent ease. There on-screen chemistry is nothing short of dazzling, and one is left wondering when and how these two actresses carved out such detailed characters without giving voice to their motivations and feelings. While it is rare that dialogue directly addresses the heart and nature of their relationship, what that is becomes clear quickly and transcends the plot of the story to become the real unifying element in this movie. That neither was recognized (in the conventional way) for their performances is unfortunate (which is an understatement).
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