|Index||8 reviews in total|
Young college student from Boston, Jerry O'Connell out on some hijinks
with friends in New Orleans comes across an old deserted mansion and
sees the ghost of a woman there. He feels a real connection to her and
the house. Years later, now an attorney, O'Connell moves to the area to
start a law practice aimed at making insurance companies cough up what
they owe flood victims. But it's more than business that Jerry's got on
He buys the old mansion and has plans to renovate and move in. But he sees some startling visions of the past around the turn of the last century. He makes a connection with Lauren Stamile who also has a connection to the house. She's the great great granddaughter of the woman that Jerry finds out was murdered.
Midnight Bayou is based on a Nora Roberts romance novel of the same name, though its characters could have been taken from the works of Tennessee Williams. Faye Dunaway plays the grandmother of Stamile who raised her and she's fine in the part. The really evil one is the prostitute/junkie of a mother Marcelle Baer to Stamile. She is a bad person in the past and present.
The film is a cut above most of the Lifetime network productions and recommended for devotees of Nora Roberts.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just finished watching Midnight Bayou and was very pleasantly surprised. I very thoroughly enjoyed the characters of Lina and her Grandmother Odette, the supernatural twist, although fairly predictable, was still intense to watch - and of course the Louisiana Bayou backdrop. There are two time lines playing out in this movie, and I felt it was done in the least confusing way possible, as you can very easily see the difference in decor and dress of each time line. What would have made this a bit more enjoyable for me would have been a bit of character development in the past time line, as well as a bit more romance in both time lines. But that isn't really the focus of this, it's about soul mates reaching across time and finding peace - it's about something deeper than romance. Jerry O'Connell doesn't do it for me as a romantic lead - he's got far too much comedy about his demeanour, however the character playing Lina was extremely sexy, sultry and sassy - just the kind of woman you'd picture out in the steamy bayou's of Louisiana - she did a terrific job with her character. My last thought to any potential viewers is to not expect Notebook quality romance, this is a TV Movie, and I say that with no malice intended - it should just be appreciated for what it is, and for the story it tells. You'll get romance, a bit of humour, suspense, history and a few thrills - Enjoy!
***SPOILERS*** Ghost story by Nora Roberts about the deep south that
covers some 120 years and at least four generations of the New Oleans
It's when young collage student Declan Fitzpartrick, celebrating Fat Tuesday, saw this ghostly young woman outside Manet Hall that he was determined in buying the long deserted mansion. Some eight years later and now having a very successful law practice in Boston Declan was now able to buy his dream house feeling that he had some strange and unearthly connection to it. Declan, in hiding his real intentions, plans on using it a law center for the local's in the area. It's then that Declan meets Lina Simone who's descendants once owned Manet Hall and whom he's connected to through the distant past-reincarnation-in ways he, who doesn't believe in the supernatural, could never have imagine!
The supernatural angle in the movie is a bit hard to follow in that were given two entirely different stories to what happened with Lina's great great great grandfather Lucian in the abandonment of him and is infant daughter by his wife, Lina's great great great grandmother, the former Manet Hall maid Abigail. We get most of this confusing story from Lina's Grandma Odette who seems to have supernatural powers herself in her knowing things, especially about Declan, that she has no way of coming up with.
The movie,almost by accident, really starts to heat up when Lina's junkie mom Marie Rose shows up from Huston needing quick cash, $10,000.00, to pay off her drug suppliers back in Texas. Trying to blackmail Declan, for her drug money, who has since fallen in love with her daughter-Lina-Marie Rose ends up getting into even deeper trouble, with the local sheriff, then she ever was with the drug dealers back in the Lone Star State. It's Marie Rose guilt, that lead to her drug addiction, which in fact activated the strange events that happened over 100 years ago leading to Abigail's mysterious disappearance.
What really saves the movie is the events that happened back then in the late 1890's, at Manet Hall, that somehow found their way back to the present-2009-with both Declan and Lina.****SPOILER ALERT****It's not only the difference between some 120 years but the reality in what happened back then as well as the change of identities of the major characters in the film that set up the movies unexpected, to everyone involved, as well as surprise ending!
I may take an unlimited amount of time but the "Wheel of Life"-Reincarnation- eventually makes amends for the mistakes made by those of us,all of humanity, who are art of it. Even if it in the end it takes as much as a dozen lifetimes for it to eventually correct them!
Attempted to watch but found ourselves mostly fast-forwarding this Nora Roberts 'thriller' that we videoed for our Dad. It was a Channel 5 Saturday night premiere and we'd been burned once already with Willed to Kill. Plus, we'd seen a Nora Roberts movie before so should have been more wary. This was more of the same. Jerry O'Connell, that goofy, odd-looking guy plays the lead looking perpetually surprised perhaps by the script which has Faye Dunaway (still pretty fine) calling him 'a beautiful young man' but I would say it's a fair guess that this line was not written with him in mind because he is not by a fair stretch of the imagination that beautiful or young. Young in comparison to Ms Dunaway maybe. And I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'll say no more. If you're ready to accept this though, you might also allow yourself to believe the daft storyline, which involves ghosts, reincarnation and visions of the past all muddled together randomly in a crazy, clashing potpourri. Beyond silly. There's a signposted-a-state-away love storyline that doesn't ring true for a second. A cameo from the gorgeous Alejandro Rose-Garcia as the intriguingly evil brother Julien is enjoyable but we see too little of him. New Orleans is the other draw I'd never been interested in going there but this has changed my mind it looks stunning. Unfortunately, neither is enough to warrant your wasting your time on this movie. Scarily unscary.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
what we have to understand is that sometimes what works in books does not necessarily mean that it works on the big screen.. this movie deviates consequently from the book.. i am a Nora Roberts fan and i do understand that many fans like me did not enjoy this movie very much, maybe because there were many alteration of the story.. but we have to take note that the plot remains truthful from its origin.. the theme of girl meets boy afraid to fall in love because of all the pain she went through, mother being the main villain, same as the mother-in law hundreds of years ago.. and of course solving the mystery of one of the heroine's disappearance.. all in all it was an entertaining movie... one should just have an open mind and feel what the director wants us to feel.. be transported in Lucian and Abigail's time.. feel their love for one another and feel the distaste and hate of Josephine and jealousy and envy of Julian towards Abigail. at the present time, Lina's apprehension to give all her heart to declan was devastating.. i can feel her pain. also she was torn about her mother. hating her for leaving and walking all over her through out her life but at the same time longing for the love a mother should give her child. and of course let us not forget the ever loving, supporting and mystic grandmother... i congratulate the director, the cast and crew for bringing these characters alive... i wouldn't have them any other way...
When will movie makers understand that people people from New Orleans
do not speak with that generic Gone With The Wind southern accent? Most
people in Louisiana do not sound like that these days. And referring to
a "loaf" of cornbread, seriously? If you're going to throw in details
based on where the story is set, do better research. I realize that's
kind of nitpicky, but it seems like too many movies and television
shows get details about Louisiana and New Orleans wrong. Don't even get
me started on True Blood. Love the show, but there's something in
almost every episode that makes me shake my head.
Other than those problems, it was a fairly decent adaptation. Better than some of the other Nora Roberts movies.
The most annoying aspect to reincarnation is switching over all of your identification.
Unfortunately, the returning soul in this made-for-TV-movie has to change more than just his name.
Despite his Eastern education, Boston lawyer Declan (Jerry O'Connell) is drawn to New Orleans and purchases a plantation to renovate.
Around town he meets a local, Lena (Lauren Stamile), whom he is inexplicably attracted to.
As the renovations continue, the mansion's history unravels its self to Declan via vivid flashbacks of a former female resident's murder.
Desperate for answers, he seeks the wisdom of Lena's grandmother (Faye Dunaway), a voodoo priestess with past life experience.
However, the spiritual truth that Declan seeks will change his life forever.
A more mystical love story than what Nora Roberts is known for, this adaptation of her novel muddles in mediocre acting but surprises in the shock-ending department.
Incidentally, when you're reincarnated in Louisiana, 9 times out of 10 you come back as a crayfish.
To anyone who read the book, you will not like this movie...to those
who saw the movie without reading the book will not want to read it!!
The characters were not well developed, Declan's background was limited
to one past relationship & there was hardly anything about his family
up north. Lina's character was limited as well and didn't show how she
achieved in her life from such difficulties. The relationship between
Declan & Lina did not seem genuine or believable.
Faye Dunaway was spectacular as always, but sadly not used to her full potential.
I'm sorry I watched it since I read the book. I'm not sure if I would have liked it any better if I hadn't read it.
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