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Marshall R. Teague
A story that questions the shaming of the US through revisionist history, lies and omissions by educational institutions, political organizations, Alinsky, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other progressives to destroy America.
This cinema version of the Sam Shepard play is set well after the mid-century. James Woods as the alcoholic farmer drives a huge beater with a rusted roof which is emblematic of the general disrepair of his farm. A lovingly tended lamb with maggots is the reverse emblem of something helpless, needy and cared for. The refrigerator is spoken to as a character, as if standing in for absent nurturing from Woods' self-centered wife. The couple have two kids who must come of age as their home is being torn apart around them and the parents pursue fantasies of "better things" offered by crook Randy Quaid. Henry Thomas as the son copes by holding on to the land and creating a poetic commentary, and the responses of his sister to the crisis become a powerful and surprising tribute to womanhood. Written by
This would've been a *great* silent film. The acting really is good, at least in a Look Ma, I'm Doing Really Big Acting! sort of way.
Everything is HUGE. Every line is PROFOUND! Every scene is SHATTERED BY HUMAN TRAGEDY!
Mostly, I felt like gagging. Yet, like any train wreck, I couldn't tear my eyes away. This dialogue might've worked on the stage, although I doubt it. On the screen, it was cluttered, haphazard, hackneyed and pretty much every other stereotypical negative adjective you can come up with to describe a really bad dramatic work.
If you enjoy your melodrama in huge, heaping doses, you *might* enjoy the movie. Be prepared to wait, however. For all that melodrama, this thing sure plods along at its own pace.
This script must've sounded a lot different when the actors involved were reading it to themselves. It simply doesn't work once they get around to delivering it in front of the camera.
IMDB does us a great disservice, at times, when it uses its goofy computer-controlled "weighted score". Curse of the Starving Class deserves less than a 1.
Character-driven fiction is great, but when you develop your characters by simply pushing them through hoops with no plausible explanation for their maturation or evolution, it isn't character development! Your characters must have a motivation. Being drunk for a while and waking up in a field is *not* character development. That's a plot contrivance.
Stay away from this movie. Or at the very least, watch it muted. Perhaps you'll get some amusement from all the arm-waving the characters do.
Oh, and word to the wise -- to prove that this is truly an artsy film, you see James Woods in all his dangly male "look-at-me, I'm-the-figurative-and-literal-representation-of-the-naked-vulnerability-of- man" glory.
Don't say you weren't warned.
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