A Guide to the Rules
J. Michael Click | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 12/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A sensitive and intelligent character-driven film, adapted from John Irving's novel by the author himself, which features truly breathtaking cinematography, a lush musical score, and uniformly excellent performances by a formidable cast which includes Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Delroy Lindo, Paul Rudd, Kathy Baker, Jane Alexander, and supporting Oscar-winner Michael Caine. The main plot line centers around a young man (Maguire), raised in an orphanage headed by a charismatic doctor (Caine), who decides to venture out into the world and learns the hard way that life is not merely black and white, but many subtle variations of gray. While this is hardly a unique theme, the characters in "Cider House Rules" are so exquisitely drawn, and the movie so masterfully produced, that everything which might in lesser hands seem overly familiar appears fresh, new, and distinctive.The DVD offers a perfect sound and video transfer, and includes a nice selection of "extras", including a documentary on the making of the film, the original Theatrical Trailer, and highlights of the television ad campaign. Overall, the DVD is an exemplary presentation of a bona fide modern classic, and one that's well worth multiple viewings."
Lassa Hallstrom does it again.
russ | Kansas | 03/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I haven't viewed all of Hallstrom's work,however what I have seen is brilliant. I didn't sit and watch this film,I was in the film ,these actor's were people I knew.This is how to describe the reality the movie projects, it pull's you into the story line,which deals with some heavy subject matter.You are given the material, some of wich comes right to the core of your soul and thoght. You are never left with the feeling of being right or wrong on your own opinon's of these issues,only this reality,the world is so much more than my thoughts alone.The old saying "Good People can do Bad Things"never hit so clear in a movie as this one did.This was Michael Caine at his best,period.Tobey Maquire was just as good,you looked at this character and saw the innocence of youth, you could feel the pain that comes with maturity that he had to endure. This movie will stay with you for some time after you leave the theater,you probably won't change your opinions you've had for years to form,it just may make you less critical of those that differ from yours.This is the movie to see,if you only see one this year, this is it."
Jay Thakker | Mumbai, India | 10/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the novel by John Irving, set in the 1940s, the Cider House Rules is a heartwarming story of relationships bonded by love and care.
The movie starts in a narrative style of Dr.Larch (Michael Caine) who is the caretaker of an orphanage in rural Maine. The orphanage has several kids managed lovingly by Dr. Larch along with two nurses. It is also a hospital, which takes care of delivering babies and terminating unwanted pregnancies in a discreet manner. Sometimes, prospective parents wishing to adopt a child visit the orphanage and a lucky one is taken away while the other children sadly wait their turn. One such orphan is Holmer ( Tobey Maguire) who is no longer a kid and has a special place in Dr.Larch's heart. While, the doctor shows no outward love for him, he has trained Holmer in the practice of gynecology and taken care of him in many ways known and unknown to the latter. Holmer is popular with all the kids and the one Dr. Larch has groomed to take over after him.Then , one day a young couple arrives to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy, Wally ( Paul Rudd ) who is a pilot and his girlfriend Candy ( Charlize Theron ) have chosen this place because of it's remote location. Dr.Larch and Holmer take good care of her. Holmer is friendly with the couple and asks for a ride to town. He wants to see the world outside , he wants to do other jobs and things. His life so far has been confined to the orphanage. He decides to leave the orphanage alongwith Wally and Candy to see the world. Dr.Larch can't accept this and is hurt, he howver, does not prevent Holmer as he knows that it was bound to happen. Everybody go out to wish Holmer an emotional goodbye , but Dr.Larch who is unable to face the parting prefers to watch from his room. Holmer too cannot muster the courage to bid farewell to Dr.Larch.
Now, he is on his own , he sees the ocean and the country side. Wally willingly offers him a job at his apple orchard. You must be the most overqualified apple picker he says. But, Holmer takes it and quickly learns his job. He makes friends with the other black workers in the Cider House.He learns a thing a two about rules and about the tragic lives of his black co-workers.
Inevitably, he falls in love with Candy who also fancies him especially when Wally is on war duty in Asia. The two have developed a relationship where the future is uncertain so, they prefer to wait and see. Meanwhile, Dr.Larch's health is failing and is to be replaced. What does Holmer do now? He is caught between the non-commital Candy and his moral duty of taking over the orphage and hospital after Dr.Larch. The movie has a relaxed pace.The rural settings have a calming effect on all the characters. Their emotions have been brought out in a quiet, dignified manner without any melodrama. You will pause to think about the life of orphans and the immense love and care their caretakers offer them. The acting is superlative. Michael Caine has won an Oscar for his role. Tobey Maguire as the young Holmer has delivered well. The movie makes it's characters your own as they have their mind and heart in the right place. Definitely worth watching."