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School nurse Alice Goodwin lives with her husband and two daughters on a dairy farm in a small Wisconsin community. After an accident on her property involving a friend's child, the town turns against her and Alice finds herself fighting charges of child abuse. Written by
Sigourney Weaver offers a marvellous performance in this film, playing mother and school nurse Alice Goodwin, whose world is torn apart after the death of a friend's child on her property, and the lodging of a sexual assault charge by the mother of one of the students she deals with on a regular basis.
This is most definitely NOT a light movie. It has adult themes, and some very troubling subject matter. As good as Weaver is, the supporting cast also offers some very powerful moments. David Strathairn portrays Howard Goodwin, Alice's husband, as he helplessly watches the community turn against the entire family, and as he struggles with the decisions that need to be made to free Alice. Julianna Moore (as Theresa Collins, the mother whose child died while being watched by Alice) is very believable as the grieving mother, struggling with her anger toward Alice over her daughter's death, and yet also convinced that the assault charges against her are ridiculous. The scenes between Strathairn and Collins, both playing vulnerable characters dealing with circumstances completely beyond their control, are raw with emotion. The only performance I found truly disappointing was that of Arliss Howard as attorney Paul Reverdy. I didn't find him believable in the role.
All in all, though, this is a strong movie, and well deserves an 8/10.
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