Peter Soffel is the stuffy warden of a remote American prison around the turn of the century. His wife, Kate, finds herself attracted to prisoner Ed Biddle. She abandons her husband and ...
See full summary »
A somewhat mentally handicapped 20-year-old man works as a laborer, but everyone abuses his naiveté. A nice 40-year-old American woman hires him one day and they become close. However, the town and his family see her as predatory.
A fifteen year marriage dissolves, leaving both the husband and wife, and their four children, devastated. He's preoccupied with a career and a mistress, she with a career and caring for ... See full summary »
Peter Soffel is the stuffy warden of a remote American prison around the turn of the century. His wife, Kate, finds herself attracted to prisoner Ed Biddle. She abandons her husband and children to help Ed and his brother Jack escape and accompanies them into the wintery wasteland.Written by
Much of the movie was shot on-location in the area of the Serez Family Farm in Mulmer, Ontario, Canada, as well as Elora and Toronto. See more »
A toy electric train shown running around a Christmas tree is of a post-1950 design, as is the track. The train is based on 19th-century locomotive and passenger car prototypes, making it more plausible. However, toy electric trains that even remotely resembled the one shown did not exist by 1901. See more »
Australian cinema personalities rarely sparkle in America
Australian director Gillian Armstrong makes great films with strong women characters--her earlier Australian film "My brilliant career" being a perfect example. I watched "Mrs. Soffel" because of my admiration for Armstrong and found that "Mrs. Soffel" could not hold a candle to "My brilliant career" even though American actress Diane Keaton was admirable compared to the Australian actresses in the latter.
Armstrong had the talented Australian cinematographer Russel Boyd (who was responsible for the seminal works of Peter Weir and Bruce Beresford) once again to work with. While Armstrong and Boyd used justifiably darkened interior shots, I had problems seeing anything for long periods and had to rely on the soundtrack!
Armstrong loves to develop the female characters but leaves the male characters totally undeveloped (Mr Soffel and Jack Biddle). This is one reason I prefer the works of Weir and Beresford over Armstrong--even though her latent talent cannot be ignored. It is amazing to see Soffel's daughter getting equal or more prominence in the script than Mr Soffel towards the end.
Mel Gibson has made a name for himself by directing "Braveheart," but I give more credence to his acting phase in Australia ("Tim", "Mad Max", etc.). I am convinced that he is a director's actor--doing well with good directors. In "Mrs Soffel" Armstrong has evidently invested time with Diane Keaton, who carries the film. Gibson only lends support to her thanks more to the script than his acting capabilities.
Most of the fine tribe of Australian filmmakers of the Seventies have drifted to the US to become richer and gain international recognition--but their work in Australia in the Seventies remains unsurpassed.
6 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this