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A mysterious woman claiming to be the deceased daughter of a rich man tries to solve the problems of his untrusting son and supposedly mentally handicaped daughter. But one question stands in her way: is she really Caroline?
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Tim Blake Nelson
Mary Kay Place,
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Ever been in Family Court? I have, more than once.
You need to have been there to appreciate this film, which goes into the complex relationships and differing points of view of the participants in our legal system. What goes on behind the scenes?
You also see why our legal system doesn't work. It has little to do with the subject, the protagonist. In murder trials, they are never there because they're always dead! But they do move the story along. Meanwhile, the antagonists are, really, all the rest of the cast, and we see how they make a lot of money realizing their successful careers (how much is never mentioned, of course.)
Director Del Mann and writer Cindy Myers know their way around this material, and make full use of this knowledge. And it was cast beautifully.
Notice the jealousy and rivalry between the judges, who claim proprietary ownership of "their" courtrooms. Notice the conflicts of interest that infects everything that takes place, especially between the lawyers. They all wear their masks. Here we see judges who become part of the case!
So, watch this film, and LEARN, if you're about to seek a restraining order. I was able to see my own case in a different light because of this film. The principles of Greek drama are fully utilized, and the innocent members of the public will be in for surprises and enlightenment.
You may be left with the feeling, if you reach catharsis, that there must be a better (and not illegal) way to settle family disputes. You will also be left with the resolve to stay away from lawyers, judges, and courts, if you're looking for closure.
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