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The film centers on a big Polish family. Jadzia is the mother and the ruler of the Pzoniak family (she has five children). Though she's happily married to Bolek, she is also having a long-time affair with Roman. Her young daughter Hala is having an affair with neighbour cop Russell and becomes pregnant by him. Russell is pressed hard to marry Hala. Written by
Why are these characters supposed to be Polish, and why does the story take place in the present? It seems to be located somewhere in the 50's or 60's in terms of its attitudes and characters. It seems to be located far from urban America in terms of the wacky behavior of its characters. I can't relate to it in any way.
Lena Olin gets my award for the worst accent in the history of film. What was she thinking of? You know, Lena, the reason Meryl Streep gets all those accents right is not just because she's talented (though she is), but because she studies every word, every nuance of the rhythm. What were you thinking of with those rolling Hungarian r's and those throat-clearing Yiddish "ch" sounds.
Why didn't they just make this a family of Potsylvanians living in Crovenia in some dimly-remembered post-war era, and none of this would have bothered me.
As for Gabriel Byrne, this usually talented actor obviously decided not to bother with the accent or the whole damned movie for that matter, and he called in his part. He obviously realized this was no Sophie's Choice, and he just collected his paycheck. In some scenes he used a heavy accent, sometimes a lighter one, sometimes none at all ... one of those Kevin Costner things. On the other hand, Byrne's relationship with his daughter (a capable Claire Danes) was the best part of the movie, although that isn't saying much.
I could only find one hint that the characters were actually Polish ... I think they mentioned Pierogi once.
Forget this turkey. It has a few good moments, but they aren't worth the effort.
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