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Atlanta, 1873. It's another day (Melanie's funeral, in fact), and Scarlett is determined to win back Rhett (who's spending a lot of time with Belle Watling). First, she goes to Tara and spats with Sue Ellen over Tara. Then she goes to Charleston, presenting herself to Rhett's mother and friends, to Rhett's dismay. But when she's caught in a compromising position with Ashely, she retires to her mother's people in Savannah, and her overbearing grandfather Robelard, while Rhett courts a new bride. Scarlett also seeks out her O'Hara relatives and meets her cousin Colum, a priest (and gunrunner). And knowing them, she goes to Ireland. There she meets the handsome Earl of Fenton, who owns Ballyhara, the ancestral home of the O'Haras. And when Scarlett buys it from him, she becomes the financial and spiritual head of the family. But her newfound happiness is short-lived as disasters strike, and she must rely on Rhett's love for her to save her from the gallows. Written by
tomorrow is another day... and indeed another story
It's common knowledge and has been said before: No one can ever play Scarlett and Rhett like Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. Joanne Whalley Kilmer (no longer Kilmer having been divorced from ex-hubby Val Kilmer) plays her own Scarlett and although this is a sequel and not a re-make (God-forbid!!!) she still cannot rise to the occasion (i.e. her voice sounds evil on several occasions, she's got brown eyes [Scarlett in both novels had green eyes and even Vivien Leigh's eyes were green] and her vocal power was not up to the job either. Scarlett is a Southern Belle; therefore she has an incredible talent for flirting (as she did in SCARLETT the novel and GWTW, of course) and to be a great flirt like Scarlett is, you would most likely need a higher-pitched voice, like Vivien Leigh.
I suppose I'm comparing Kilmer to Leigh a bit too much but when someone possesses a role so masterfully as Leigh did with Scarlett you simply can't help but to criticize any new prospective Scarletts. Timothy Dalton should have had no accent whatsoever, due to the fact that both Margaret Mitchell's Rhett and Gable in the film had none. His acting has never been truly noteworthy (except, maybe his portrayal of the evil, conniving King Phillip of France in THE LION IN WINTER) and he gives very little (if any) freshness or vitality to his Rhett.
Standouts in the cast are most notably Tina Kellagher (a born actress with plenty of authenticity in her deliverance) as the tragic victim Mary Boyle. And then of course there's Sean Bean as the cold, calculating and not to mention, almost demonically evil Lord Fenton, Mary's nemesis and Scarlett's eventual violator. One thing I could not forgive the writer for was the fact that Scarlett is raped in this movie (a fact that never occurred in the novel; Lord Fenton is cold and of ill-repute among the Irish in the book but he's nowhere near as heartless as his screen counterpart. Another omission from the novel but readded for the film is the character of Belle Watling, played most horribly by Ann-Margret in a cameo role, which we all could have lived without, seeing as how the book was such a run-away bestseller without requiring any assistance from Ms. Watling.
For a film by itself, SCARLETT is a very good one but not quite in that lofty of a place in terms of being GONE WITH THE WINDs sequel. Another actress was highly necessary for Scarlett as well as Rhett.
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