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Lianna (Ws Sub)
Ws Sub
Actors: Linda Griffiths, Jane Hallaren, Jon DeVries, Jo Henderson, Jessica MacDonald
Director: John Sayles
Genres: Drama
R     2003     1hr 50min

The visionary writer-director behind such films as Passion Fish, Lone Star and Sunshine State, OscarĀ(r) nominee* John Sayles has been at the forefront of independent cinema for more than twenty years. In this moving and ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Linda Griffiths, Jane Hallaren, Jon DeVries, Jo Henderson, Jessica MacDonald
Director: John Sayles
Creators: John Sayles, Maggie Renzi, Austin De Besche, Jeffrey Nelson
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance
Studio: MGM Home Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/16/2003
Original Release Date: 01/18/1983
Theatrical Release Date: 01/18/1983
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 50min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Another Great Slice Of Life From John Sayles!
SwellBooks | Park Ridge, IL | 09/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Acclaimed writer/director" John Sayles has been making some of the best films around for the last twenty years. MGM and IFC Films have just released three of his earliest to DVD for the first time, "RETURN OF THE SECAUCUS SEVEN" (Sayles maiden directorial effort), "THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET" and this wonderful film, "LIANNA". The story of an unhappily married young woman named Lianna (beautifully played by Linda Griffiths)who discovers after eight years of marriage that she is a lesbian. She falls in love with an older woman, a night school teacher, and this leads to a seperation from her doofus of a husband and her two children. Lianna's oddyssey of self-discovery is endlessly fascinating and compelling. This film is a wonderful, witty, and warm human drama! For those of you tired of empty headed Hollywood blockbusters big on CGI effects, explosions, car chases, and cardboard characters, check out this film and some of Mr. Sayles other works. You will not be disappointed. His films are wonderful slices of life populated by believable characters. He is a true artist.The picture and sound on the new DVD is quite good (the film having been recently restored). The disc features an insightful feature length audio commentary by John Sayles and a 9 minute featurette with on screen inverviews with Sayles and longtime partner producer Maggie Renzi. The trailer for Sayles latest film, "CASA DE LOS BABYS" is also included.Highly recommended! -George Bauch"
My favorite John Sayles film
J. C. Woods | Malden, MA USA | 10/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is my favorite John Sayles film (which, considering how i feel about Lone Star, says a lot). This has much to do with Linda Griffith's wonderful performance as the title character. Sayles says his intention was to explore a situation where husband and wife divorce and the husband gets custody of the kids. This, of course, means something has to be "wrong" with the wife. At the same time, he didn't want her problem to be too impairing. Alcoholism and heroin addiction were out, so he made her a lesbian. When you consider the 1983 this is way ahead of its time and holds up well, especially against current films like But I'm a cheerleader. Good stuff."
Troubled people, love in many forms and a fine story
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 07/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This little-known 1983 film must have been shocking in its time. It's about a young mother in an unhappy marriage to a college professor. She begins an affair but the twist of this story is that the affair is with a female teacher. She then has to cope with a broken marriage, the angst of her two children, and a whole new world of the lesbian subculture. Add to this the fact that the older woman is not as anxious to commit to the relationship. She doesn't want to be exposed as it would hurt her career and she also has a long-standing relationship with a woman in another state. The young woman now finds that life is just as difficult for her as it was when she was married to her uncaring spouse. There's high drama here, but it never turns maudlin.

Linda Griffiths is the young woman and she's great in the role of a woman who is suddenly cast into a lifestyle that is totally new to her. Jane Hallaren is the older teacher in an excellent performance. She, too, comes across as a troubled human being. There are some very tender scenes between the two of them and they are touching and authentic. I was moved by their dilemma and by their performances.

My highest accolades, however, go to John Sayles who wrote and directed it. He even cast himself in a small role. There's an extra feature on the DVD which features him discussing this film which is a perfect complement to the film itself. Through the years, he has proven his talent for bringing out the many complex layers in seemingly simple situations. He certainly did a great job with Lianna. It's a really fine film. Highly recommended."
Twenty Years Ahead
J. Fregosi | Staunton, VA | 11/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"'Lianna' is one of the few John Sayles movies I literally had to wait years to see. Virtually buried for decades, all I knew about this film was the very tepid reviews I had read about it. Fortunately when it became affordably available I got to view it for the first time. I was expecting a rampant "movie-of-the-week" sentiment, but instead I saw a provocative, insightful film which felt far more like it was made last year, rather than in the early 80's. 'Lianna' is a bold, visionary film that is less about lesbianism per se than it is about the various reactions of the people in her life to her sexual awakening. It is a very passionate film experience which is less polished than Sayles later films, but has more emotion than I've experienced in all of his films combined."