Leslie's Folly (1994)

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A married woman is unhappy about everybody in her life : husband, children, married lover, psychiatrist.

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(short story "Leslie's Folly"), (screenplay)
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Title: Leslie's Folly (1994– )

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Cast

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Leslie
Joshua Boyd
Clara Bryant
...
Susan
...
Daniel
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Storyline

A married woman is unhappy about everybody in her life : husband, children, married lover, psychiatrist.

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9 October 1994 (USA)  »

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A personal film that will be better for those that can relate to it
10 December 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Leslie is 42, mother of three and living in an ongoing suburban world of car pools, white fences and school events. She is unhappy with her husband Ira, is oppressed by the demands of her children and even the relationship with her lover Daniel is really going nowhere. When she gets pregnant she realises that she is losing touch with herself and decides to have an abortion to regain her freedom.

Written by Lynn Mamet and directed by Kathleen Turner, this is an interesting film although probably one that will speak more to women of a certain age than it will to a man in his late twenties (ie me). The script is well written and gives plenty of good dialogue to Leslie and a lot of what she says hits home easily with her situation – I'm not sure how personal the film is to Mamet but she certainly seems to have some insight into the view she is writing about. The film has bits that don't work though, and some of the characters seem unnecessary and overly complicate Leslie without giving us enough to work with to help clarify her in our minds. It is all quite interesting though and it ends with as much hope as it does contradiction, which probably says a lot about life in a way.

Archer takes the role with gusto and is very good and very well cast in the lead. She is convincing with the dialogue and fits the role very well. She does have a good support cast but she makes the film her own and is barely off screen for very long throughout. Place, During, Shea and Turner all have small roles and are all equally good but their time is limited and it is Archer that makes the film work as well as it does. As director, Turner doesn't do anything fancy and is happy to focus on the performances rather than the visual style – a wise decision in my opinion and one that (with Archer) paid off.

Overall an enjoyable but personal film that I found interesting even if it was hard to totally buy into it emotionally because I just don't have the same experiences as Leslie to come from. Maybe women of a certain age or situation will get more from the film because it seems very specific and personal work from both Mamet and Turner, but regardless I still liked it – mainly for Archer's convincing and strong performance in the title role.


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