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The Stone Boy (1984)
Heart-wrenching tear-jerker, but moving and eventually heart-warming
Both Robert Duvall and Glenn Close played their roles with such believability, I simply cried. Glenn Close's role as Ruth, showed her wanting to deal with the situation, but she was under the domination of her husband. "Let him think about what he did," Robert Duvall's character, Joe, said staunchly. The story depicted a rural family dealing with an accidental death of a son by his brother, called "The Stone Boy," meaning he was so distraught and overwhelmed by what he did, he became emotionally paralyzed. Then towards the end when Jason Presson's character, Arnold, let it all out to a stranger, I was so broken hearted for him, that I actually thought of some of the terrible things that I did in my life. I personalized and identified with his character. Frederick Forrest's and Gail Youngs' roles, did NOT add not much to the film. I thought of Frederick Forrest, who played Ruth's antagonistic, womanizing brother, Andy, as a jerk who did nothing to try to help the situation. His wife, Lou, played by Gail Youngs, acted like a crazy-lady smacking Arnold around out of frustration with her own problems without pity and blaming him for her troubles. I could NOT really feel sorry for these two. Though Lou tried to keep her marriage together, she was unsuccessful. Both did NOT deal with their problems effectively. They really did NOTHING for the film and were totally ridiculous. Wilfred Brimley's minor role as the grandfather was, touching for he was the only character that showed Arnold any attention. I felt his role should have been elaborated. The players were just doing what they felt was adequate and sufficient. However, I really liked the ending so much, I actually smiled and cried tears of joy. I felt good. The Hillermans were a family again. I actually wanted to be a part of this family. They were so realistic.
Do You Remember Love (1985)
A real, real, real heartbreaking tear-jerker!!!!!!
Joanne Woodward and Richard Kiley were superb in their roles as Barbara, the afflicted victim of the dreaded disease, and her loving, supportive husband, George. My heart really went out to them. I practically felt their suffering and pain. I wanted to help them myself. I felt like giving them, especially George, advice. They portrayed a happily married couple. Barbara was a college professor. And then BOOM!!!! Alzheimer's disease. Geraldine Fitzgerald, who portrayed Barbara's mother, Lorraine, was especially a heart-breaker, since she had to see her own daughter suffer the way she did. Though I am not a mother, I could still imagine her torment. It is just like watching your own child die, except this was worse--seeing your own daughter slipping into mentally incapacitation and you simply CANNOT to do anything about it. You are completely helpless. All the characters were and I, personally, felt so horribly bad for them, being they were a happy, well-adjusted family! However, I felt the conclusion, though I do NOT want to give it away, was ineffectual and inadequate. I knew it would NOT end on a positive note, but I was still disappointed. However, the acting was so authentic, believable, and convincing, that I actually felt like saying a prayer for this "family."
Heart-wrenching but forceful and definitely true!
Melissa Gilbert portrayed a tortured victim helping others who were in her position at one time. She showed determination, motivation, and support to all women. I actually felt her pain when she relived through therapy the abuse suffered from her parents. I particularly hated her mother who actually did nothing to prevent her husband from sexually abusing her. She was a B----! I simply wanted to kill her, strangle her, scream at her, whatever!!!! She was supposed to be a social worker helping people with family problems. And also, she was supposed to be a mother who is supposed to be nurturing and supportive and she WAS NOT. She gives motherhood a bad name. Her father definitely was NO saint!!! He, too, was a b------! However, I could NOT hate him like I did the mother for some reason. Melissa Gilbert's character was forceful and motivated. She did NOT give up or give in. She took a bad situation, her own inner childhood pain and torment, and turned it into a productive project of helping other young women. She is to be admired. Her performance was believable, that I rooted for her! Yay, Shari Karney!!!
Hush Little Baby (1994)
Being interested in mother/daughter relationships, I feel this movie was very poignant with superb acting on the part of the players, especially the two mothers and the daughter.
Being the relationship between mothers and daughters is said to be sensitive and complex, I felt the players of the adoptee daughter and two mothers, was very poignant, convincing, and touching. Though Edie could be adequately labelled "Psycho Mother," I, in a way, felt sorry for her being she was jealous of Susan's loving relationship to her adoptive mother, Verna, who was, totally unsuspecting of Edie's motives. I wanted to be part of that family, because their portrayal of a close-knit family is what it should be, but unfortunately, in real-life, such a family is far from picture-perfect. Susan, wanting to have a some kind of warm relationship with Edie, does a good job of being blind to Edie, when the other players, such as Susan's husband, stepson, and babysitter, do know definitely something is NOT right. Their performances were so heart-wrenching that I wanted to jump into the set to tell them I know how they felt when they tried to warn Susan to be cautious, because she was in danger, but Susan turned a deaf ear to their doubts of her biological mother's facade, whom she felt a sense of loyalty to, though all around her mysterious occurrences took place which she did not seem to question. I felt like shaking Susan trying to knock some sense into her and get her to realize Edie's true intentions and felt bad when Verna never knew what was really happening. "Will you please listen! Wake up! Open your eyes!" I felt like screaming at her to not avail. Of course, I was glad of what eventually happened which should and did take place. Though I do NOT want to give the ending away completely, it was sort of in a way, comical. I had to laugh. And I did!