A family is torn apart after a father gives his valuable farm land to his daughters.A family is torn apart after a father gives his valuable farm land to his daughters.A family is torn apart after a father gives his valuable farm land to his daughters.
Competent screen adaptation of an excellent novel
I liked this movie a lot, but the feeling that I most came away with was the memory of how much I´d enjoyed the novel. The film features two of the best actresses working today--Jessica Lange, who is great here, and the divine Jennifer Jason Leigh, who does the best she can with the thinly-drawn character she is given--as well as a surprisingly excellent Michelle Pfeiffer and a steady Jason Robards. The adaptation is basically faithful to the book, at least as faithful as it can be in an hour and forty minutes. The film doesn´t really dazzle, except for certain scenes between Lange and Pfeiffer, but it does a thoroughly competent job of visualizing this wonderfully tragic story. As far as movies adapted from novels go, this was definitely among the better ones. If nothing else, it has sent me back to my bookshelves to rediscover favorite passages from Jane Smiley´s excellent novel, and back to King Lear to brush up on the minor characters in order to see just how deep the parallels go. Worth your time as a film, definitely, and hopefully enough to make you remember that reading great literature is a joy as well.
- Apr 2, 1999
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