The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early 1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfield girl, subsequent career, and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein.
The Wingo family is from South Carolina, they growing up in a house on a tidal plain. The oldest offspring, Lucas, largely acted as the protector for his younger twins siblings, Tom and Savannah, in light of their dysfunctional growing up, with their shrimper father, Henry, distant and abusive if/when he did pay them any attention, and their mother, Lila, while not doting on them most concerned about appearances and striving for social standing. Now in middle age, Savannah is a New York based poet, Tom, still living on the South Carolina coast outside of Charleston with his wife Sally and their own three doting daughters, taking a break from his high school teaching/football coaching job, while Lucas has long since died while still standing up for himself and his beliefs. Lila, divorced and now remarried with that wealth and social standing she so long desired, receives news that Savannah is in the hospital following her most recent suicide attempt. Not wanting to face the blame ...Written by
It is next to impossible to turn a 800 page novel into a consumable movie without losing some of what made the novel brilliant in the first place (which this one is). The novel is about growing up in South Carolina and about the love of three siblings for each other. The novel takes its name from what the sister calls one of the brothers: The Prince Of Tides. But, Luke Wingo, the title character is seldom seen in this mediocre adaptation. Ms. Streisand decided to make it a love story about her character and Lukes brother Tom. She missed the entire point, and screwed up a good story that would have better been left as a mini-series because of its length and depth. (She needs to watch LONESOME DOVE or ROOTS or CENNTENIAL to see that you can make masterpeices on tv, especially if you have a huge text to work from).
However, Nolte is perfectly cast, and plays the part of a downtrodden southern everyman very well. The few childhood flashback scenes that they do film are done very well. Too bad Babs didn't realize this was the meat of the novel. Oh well, at least she didn't sing.
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