Wonderful characters, beautiful location, funny and poignant
Rozanne Mckinney | USA (Texas) | 09/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mary Steenbergen's portrayal of writer Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is very believable - she's independent and a little stand-offish, but comes to care for her backwoods (and often eccentric) neighbors at Cross Creek as she adjusts to country life in the 1920's. Rip Torn is entertaining and touching as her sometimes-inebriated friend and neighbor Marsh Turner, and Peter Coyote is a charming friend and suitor. The movie is shot on location near Cross Creek, which enhances this interpretation of her 1941 bestselling book of the same name."
Superb Drama - Brilliant Performances
songbear | Ashburn, VA United States | 07/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cross Creek is the story of Marjorie Rawlings, the author of the Yearling. Set in a backwoods community in Florida in the 1920s, Ms. Rawlings sets off to write the perfect gothic romance and become a published author. She arrives at her recently purchased property in a broken down automobile to find her house is nothing more than a run down shack and her orange grove completely grown over from neglect. The conflict in the movie arises from her strong willed independence and the need to become part of the community at Cross Creek in order to survive. The characters that are part of that community and the actors and actresses that portray them is precisely what makes this film one of the best dramas ever made. The screenplay is strong, the character development is rich, and the screenplay and story line is completely convincing. Mary Steenburgen performs the lead role with elegance and a vitality rarely found in roles like this. She has more charm than Kate Hepburn, and she manages to be so believable because she can navigate the feistiness, fear, anger, frustration, sadness, and humor of Ms. Rawlings and her adventures at Cross Creek without missing a beat. Peter Coyote plays Mr. Norton Baskin, a local innkeeper seeking her attention. Alfre Woodard brilliantly plays Geechie, her maid and manages to steal a few scenes in the process. But the two supporting performances that stand out are those of Rip Torn and Dana Hill. Torn and Hill are father and daughter from a dirt poor family try to scrap a living on the creek. They befriend Rawlings, and what results is the real life inspiration for the Yearling. I believe this film was nominated for four Academy Award Nominations - with three acting nominations - one each for Rip Torn, Alfre Woodard, and Steenburgen. If you enjoy good drama, strong female roles, true stories, or just plain great acting, this would be a fine addition to any collection. My only disappointment with the DVD package is the film is presented in mono instead of Dolby Stereo, but the picture quality is superb. They even managed to include a short featurette. Still, I give this movie five stars, and highly recommend. It is one of my personal favorites."
Cute story about a writer struggling for independance
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 02/27/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My main interest in this movie was the story of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. She is a writer who is leaving her life to pursue her writing dreams and find fulfillment in publishing a novel.
Her husband is not interested in her dreams. She decides to seek solitude in an isolated orange grove in Florida. Little does she know, this will not be an ideal life. After 30 years of urban life, she is not prepared for a small Florida town.
After many rejections, Marjorie finally realizes "Gothic Novels" are not her specialty. Her agent helps her see how interesting her life actually is and she begins to write about what she knows best. In the process she falls in love, makes a best-friend, helps the community by hiring everyone who lives around her to help remodel her house and fix up her orchard.
Cross Creek is based on the best-selling memoirs of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and has some very human moments when you realize the beauty or ugliness of life. The local business man (Peter Coyote) who falls in love with her, does something so amazing. It reminded me of when my father bought my mother her first car. I only know the story, but the situation is similar. Marjorie of course is very head strong and not about to take help from another man. Until she realizes what Norton Bascomb has secretly done.
Slow-paced movie that is more "cute" than "dramatic." Although, there are a few heart-wrenching moments. I thought they dwelled too long on the party, however the chocolate cake sure did look good!
Only view this movie if you have chocolate cake in the house! Preferably decorated with candied orange slices.
~The Rebecca Review"
"Cross Creek" is unforgettable, in the good way.
J. J. Smith | Illinois | 03/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When was the last time you felt the hairs stand up on your arms as you watched a film? This radiant, measured drama, with a stubborn, diffident and magnetic performance by Mary Steenburgen, does it for me every time. Telling the story of writer Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and her sojurn in rural Florida in the 20's, it paints (and for once "paints" is the right verb) an eloquent portrait of the artist-as-not-always-likeable person, and also conveys an overwhleming sense of place and community. Martin Ritt's great feeling for ordinary people breathes extraordinary life into this material, and the location settings and photography are superb. Also superb are the supporting performances, including the acclaimed pairing of Rip Torn and the late, astonishing child actor Dana Hill as father and daughter. But my personal favorite is Alfre Woodard's all-out, headlong portrayal of Geechee, Rawling's devoted, wild woman housekeeper. This is the only film I know that conveys a real sense of the writer's life, and without pretense at that. As for the raising of the hairs, there is nothing else in film to compare with the final lyrical montage that concludes the picture. As Steenburgen speaks words from the text of Rawling's original "Cross Creek," Ritt gives us image after ravishing image of Cross Creek and environs. Once seen, you will never forget it. The DVD is beautifully produced. A treasure."
S. Fisher | Austin,Tx | 09/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie, is well acted, true to the original book and a tribute both to the subject of the movie, Marjorie Rawlings, and to the skill and ability of the actors. It is worth watching over and over and worth much more than the price of buying it."