Alabama; 1969: The death of a clan's estranged wife and mother brings together two very different families. Do the scars of the past hide differences that will tear them apart, or expose truths that could lead to unexpected collisions?
A young man in the 1940s raises a family in Alabama after his wife leaves him for an Englishman and moves to England. When the wife dies, she leaves a request to be brought back to Alabama to be buried, and at that point the man hasn't seen her in nearly 30 years. The two families - her original family she abandoned and her English family - meet and make an attempt to adjust to each other, with uneven results. Written by
I watched this DVD this afternoon, expecting not much and becoming glued to the whole thing. The characters were drawn perfectly, and we saw the characters of the American family drawn carefully for us before we met the English family. (I did wonder what would have happened, had the English family not spoken with such pristine middle class accents, but that's silly, no American woman would fall for anything less.) There is a touch of farce, some neurosis and some age-old baggage to be sorted before the film ends, touchingly and with horror written on the face of the father in question. It's not a blockbuster, and it's not full of hysterical dramas, but it did put me in mind of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and not purely because of the accents - the taught drama spinning away behind the pleasant and civilised dialogue. Excellent all round.
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