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What would you do if someone you loved sat down with you one night and calmly told you that they were going to end their life before morning? This is Thelma Cates' dilemma. Her daughter, Jessie, has had it. A middle-aged epileptic unable to hold a job or drive with a failed marriage and a drug-addicted runaway son on the wrong side of the law, Jessie can find no reason to go on living. Adapted from the play by Marsha Norman, "'night, Mother" is the story of a parent's worst nightmare. How can Thelma convince her daughter that life is worth living if she can't feel her pain? How can she end her daughter's embrace of death before morning?Written by
Mark Fleetwood <email@example.com>/Reid Taylor
It happened in 1983. It was a rare and remarkable theatrical experience. Controversial. Provocative. And shocking. Now, two Academy Award-winning actresses make the Pulitzer Prize-winning play the motion picture event of the year.
Kathy Bates was considered for the role of "Jessie," after playing the same role in the original Broadway production three years earlier. See more »
We're just gonna sit around like every other night in the world, and then you're gonna kill yourself? You'll miss! You'll wind up a vegetable! How'd you like that? You know what the doctor said about getting excited. You'll cock the pistol and have a fit!
I think I can kill myself, Mama.
It's a sin! You'll go to Hell!
Jesus was a suicide if you ask me.
You'll go to Hell just for saying that, Jessie!
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Marsha Norman's play was gripping and harrowing on Broadway and while Director Moore opens it up as much as possible without losing the repartee, it is still a filmed stage play -- but one that packs every bit of the emotional wallop it did on the stage. The acting is marvelous and pulls no punches. Bancroft is almost unrecognizable, in a good way, completely immersing herself in the energetic mother character. Spacek is completely believable as the determined daughter. This is a true clinic in two-person character study acting.
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