Stanley Cox is an illiterate short-order cook who has never taken a chance at love. Iris King is a newly widowed factory worker who has vowed never to love again. Still grieving eight months after her husband's death, she lives from paycheck to paycheck and raises two children. To make ends meet, she rents out space to her sister and brother-in-law who have financial and marital problems as well. Her daughter seeks escape through the company of boys resulting in an out of wedlock pregnancy, which makes matters worse. However, as their friendship slowly blossoms and Iris helps Stanley learn to read, his strong yet gentle kindness helps mend her broken heart. And where two lonely strangers stood trapped within the past, Stanley and Iris can now begin a new chapter of their lives - together.Written by
MGM/UA Home Video
This is a wonderful movie, with perfect performances by the very best actors. Anyone who doesn't appreciate this little masterpiece has probably spent too much time in front of the TV. The writing is superb, and the direction flawless. From the opening 360 degree pan, which ends by a close-up of the bakery (which is, in fact, the center of the drama), to the outstanding last line of the film (which is, in fact, the theme of the movie), the storytelling is absolutely first-rate. The acting is a study in naturalistic performance style. Jane Fonda is, as always, the best of the best, but Stanley's father steals the show. De Niro, as Stanley, gives an understated and totally endearing portrayal of a resourceful and intelligent "illiterate." This film is the opposite of the "blockbuster" -- finely crafted, intimate, and uncompromising.
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