Tom Wingo is a disillusioned southern football coach who leaves his crumbling marriage to travel to New York and reveal his tortured childhood to help his psychologically troubled twin sister. — Genre: Feature Film-Drama — R... more »ating: R
"Streisand's semi-controversial adaptation of THE PRINCE OF TIDES may not have completely satisfied fans of the book, however, the general public fell instantly under the film's hypnotic spell - and turned it into a surprise box office smash! The decision to keep the film's focus in the present rather than the past results in the elimination of most of the novel's lengthy backstory. However, the well-condensed script (written by Conroy himself and Becky Johnson) manages to seamlessly fill in the missing information, and allows all central characters to reach a level of character development that is unusually high for a mainstream Hollywood film. As the film progresses, these characters seem especially real, and they are embodied by an absolutely flawless cast.
As anyone who has read the book can attest, the characters of Tom and Lila Wingo would seem to be extremely challenging (if not almost unplayable) roles, both of which are brimming with contradictions and hidden emotions. However, Nick Nolte and Kate Neligan find the perfect balance in their portrayals, which earned them both well-dissevered Oscar nominations. Blythe Danner, Jason Gould, and Melinda Dillion all also turn in memorable performances, even though Dillion's Savannah (a lead character in the novel) has precious little screentime due to the film's structure. Barbra also gives an affecting portrayal, however, the director's chair is where she really shines this time. With it's moving storyline, compelling characters, and breathtakingly beautiful cinematography, THE PRINCE OF TIDES is film that will continue enchant audiences for years to come.
About the DVD: The picture quality and sound are excellent, although it's disappointing that the many extras (which included a featurette, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and Streisand's full-length commentary track) that were included on Criterion's special edition laserdisc release are not found on this DVD. The film's original trailer and teaser are included, but I hope that all of the extras from the laserdisc will someday make their way to DVD. "
A Perfect Drama!
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 07/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the perfect date movie, a drama so engrossing, so well acted and so lavishly produced that it doesn't lose your attention throughout its long 132 minute run. Adapted from a best-selling novel of the same title by Pat Conroy (also author of "The Great Santini"), director and star Barbara Streisand has the support of the best ensemble cast one can imagine in delivering a superior movie. everyone included does a stllar job, from Nick Nolte as the protagonist and figure lovingly referred to in the title, Barbara as the psychiatrist who unravels the horrible mystery behind the protagonist's family history, and a supporting cast that includes Bliythe Damnner as Nolte's estranged wife, and George Carlin as the complex and interesting gay neighbor to Nolte's kid sister in New York. This is a wonderful film, one that dances back and forth in time, that does an unusually good job at translating a complex and convoluted story to the screen quite magically, and one that is not only plausible but also breath-taking in its import and seriousness. One comes away recognizing the growth in Nolte's character and applauding the way the whole story fits together and is so believable. I save this one for rainy Friday nights, when I want to escape from the humdrum of a workweek gone bad. I can highly recommend it, and know you will come to love it, too. Enjoy!"
Watchable romance with strong characterization.
D. Litton | Wilmington, NC | 12/12/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The events of "The Prince of Tides" play out in such a fashion that one tends to forget how soapy and melodramatic they really are. What begins as one man's emotional awakening to the events of his past in an attempt to help his sibling generates into a run-of-the-mill romance easily found in the pages of any Harlequin novel. And yet, through acting zeal and its abidance by the rules of tearjerkers, this film actually pays off in a weird sort of way. At the center of the story is Tom Wingo (Nick Nolte), a middle-aged Southern football coach with a wife and three children. The film's calendar art opening sequence serves to show his childhood in an appealing light, yet his adult life is anything but enjoyable. His wife is estranged from him, put off by his humorous approach to serious situations and by his unwillingness to discuss the pitfalls of their marriage. When his mother, whom he clearly despises, informs him that his sister Savannah has attempted suicide again, he heads off to New York City, where he will meet with her psychiatrist, Dr. Susan Lowenstein (Barbra Streisand), to help her unlock the pain in Savannah's subconscious. The story's change in setting and story is the decision point for audiences, who can either accept the drama and enjoy it, or groan at the segue from the suicide angle to a romance storyline. Once in New York, Tom begins revealing events from his childhood to Lowenstein, who listens with a caring ear, perhaps more caring than the ethics of her career would allow. As their relationship begins to deepen, Tom reveals more to her, including a carefully guarded secret known only by his two siblings and mother, as well as his feelings for her. A heads up of what to watch for in this movie: its well-structured plot, which, despite its melodramatic subject matter, weaves a fine web of love, hate, revelation, and the courage to overcome hardships. The romance that eventually takes flight between Tom and Lowenstein is run-of-the-mill, from their shared family discord to their realization that it cannot last forever. Even still, these aspects are given some vitality: Tom agrees to help her son become a football player, and later antagonizes her haughty celebrity husband at a dinner party in one of the film's most memorable scenes. The bittersweet ending has been done countless times before, but it's helped by the fact that we have come to like the characters and can appreciate, if not comprehend, their situation. Even more interesting is the way in which Tom slowly begins to break down. As his resolve begins to fade, he breaks into new emotional ground, letting go of the hardships he has been holding inside all of his life. His family life is revealed in gritty detail, all of which provides reason for the attitudes he holds to presently. And when it comes time for him to break down and face his torments, we believe in his emotion because of his experiences. This is the kind of character we can come to care about deeply, through his many realizations and reawakenings. Kudos to the cast, which is stellar all around. Nolte shines as Tom, giving a powerful performance full of convincing emotion and forceful dialogue. Streisand's role as Lowenstein is good enough, better than most give her credit for; she gets the job done in front of and behind the camera with serviceable results. Add to this a supporting cast that includes Blythe Danner as Tom's wife, Kate Nelligan as his mother, and Streisand's own son, Jason Gould, as her character's son, and you have a truly becoming cast that adds zest and freshness to the script. Some may not think that this is enough for "The Prince of Tides" to work, but in a way, it is. With a story that jumps from place to place, much like that of a soap opera, the cast is able to chew on the material with terrific gusto, making the changes of pace, setting and story easier to stomach. It's not a completely original piece, yet there is an appeal in its cliched romance, and a strong depth of feeling behind its characterization and human story. On this, the movie is a success."
Barbra Streisand -- Queen of Tides
Antonio Robert | Slovakia, Europe | 01/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Actually, the sentence in the title is not mine; the author of the book Pat Conroy was so grateful for the film that he gave the director such a name...Conroy must have realised limitations of a film in comparison with the book. "The Prince of Tides" book is rather thick and to make a two-hour movie out of it is difficult. The film "Cider House Rules" was also criticised of being too thin in comparison with the book -- and, in fact, the author John Irving himself wrote the script.Romantic side is highlighted over a complex, dark family story, with Streisand enjoying the starring female role to the full. She does so alongside the great performance by Nick Nolte, who plays Tom Wingo, a teacher from American South hiding much of his painful past until he gets familiar with New York psychiatrist Susan Lowenstein (Streisand).The film love story between Wingo and Lowenstein is one of the most memorable of the past decades, yet the picture also encompasses deep social undertones -- suicide, hypocrisy, lack of family understanding. There is a couple of memorable scenes; the most special one comes when Wingo finally lets the demons of the past out -- this is acting at its best on both Nolte's and Streisand's part. Although some other films also attempted something similar (e.g. "Good Will Hunting", with Matt Damon and Robin Williams), it never was so powerful as here. The ending is bittersweet, not typically romantic but ultimately inevitable and logical for the story.Beautiful cinematography and great musical score to a large extent made this film to achieve five stars in my book. I know I will keep on returning to "The Prince of Tides" video."
R. Penola | NYC, NY United States | 12/18/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Though Barbra Streisand kind of gets in the way of her own movie, The Prince of Tides does have some expertly compelling sequences, most chillingly the flashbacks that seriously do justice to Pat Conroy's epic novel. Dealing most significantly with the inner child, and the revelations that can free us, the book and the film successfully engage you with a rich sense of time and place. The characters who populate the film sometimes seem from two different worlds, but I think that is part of the point. Kate Nelligan and Jason Gould will surprise you with unusually good performances, and of course, Nick Nolte does some of his best acting ever in this film -- the role suits him; even its grander touches seem so - so - Tom. The score, by James Newton Howard, swirls symphonically around the action of this movie, and is achingly beautiful."