Academy Award(R)-winner Jessica Lange (Best Actress, 1995, BLUE SKY) and Michelle Pfeiffer (ONE FINE DAY) join Jennifer Jason Leigh (GEORGIA) and Oscar(R)-winner Jason Robards (1977, Best Supporting Actor, ALL THE PRSIDENT... more »'S MEN) in this widely acclaimed motion picture about silence and betrayal ... rivalry and revenge! When an aging father retires, he passes the thriving family farm on to his three daughters. But this generous gift ignites an exposive series of events that threaten to tear the family apart forever! This powerful story of shocking secrets, unspoken rivalries, and hidden desires is a film you must see ... with performances you'll never forget!« less
Heather F. (8izenuff) from PHOENIX, AZ Reviewed on 9/12/2009...
Based on a book that I never got around to reading. I thought I could watch the book instead. Hey it does have Colin Firth. Sorry I hated this movie. Didnt like any of the characters.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Subtle and thoughtful drama with a powerhouse cast
Jenny | Chicago, IL USA | 09/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I wish this hadn't bombed at the box office because this was an excellent film adaptation of one of my favorite contemporary novels by Jane Smiley. I guess the themes are a little tough--incest, madness, marital infidelity, ugly family secrets, cancer and the corrupting power of sex and money aren't exactly pick-me-ups. But the actors are superb--Jessica Lange really captures the essence of her trapped-in-girlhood character as does Michelle Pfeiffer as her feisty younger sister who masks her pain behind anger. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keith Carradine, Jason Robards and my favorite, Colin Firth (complete with Midwestern accent--check out how he tries to say "farm" like an Iowan!) complete this stellar cast and everyone is terrific.
The story is a slightly different take on the story of King Lear, with Robards as an aging farmer who decides to leave his one-thousand acre farm to his three daughters, sparking life-changing conflict for them all. The story is quietly told, with two of the sisters finally acknowleding the abuse of their childhoods and searching for new hope as adults. Mixed into the tale is a subplot of adultery and betrayal.
I looked for this film for years after reading the book and am glad to have finally experienced it. If you like the stuff of real-life drama, this is a compelling story that will hold your attention and make you think."
Pfeiffer and Lange: Powerhouse Performances
Thayer | 10/26/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of movies where the memorable performances of the leads particularly Pfeiffer and Lange was probably now forgotten because of the failure of the movie, at least in the box office and reception by the critics. The movie has some flaws at least from my point of view, like the lack of coherence of the whole movie, some felt rushed and underdeveloped, lacked of style in storytelling, and weakness in the script. But I personally think this movie is still worth seeing, it has a certain quality that made it compelling and very relatable.
Michelle Pfeiffer gave a tour de force performance she interpreted Rose with such anger you almost feel why she's angry. She gave so much depth to her interpretation, the way her eyes well up and the intensity of her face in the confrontation scenes. It was heartbreaking and very touching. ("I did not forgive the unforgivable, that's my sole solitary and only accomplishment") Jessica Lange gave the subtler and more vulnerable attack to the character. She's a little laid back and understated and the result is really moving performance. I think Pfeiffer gave the better performance only because she got to play the more intense, showy, and ultimately tragic character.
The late Jason Robards was very good. He created a character that's both disgusting and also compelling. In the scene where he appeared to start exhibiting signs of senility and he just lost in the case regarding the farm, You can just feel what Pfeiffer was feeling when she said to her dad while going out in the court "Daddy, you lost" and she said it with such desperation and anger. That's probably one of the worst feelings, not being able to make the person who've done you wrong know what he did.
For fans of Pfeiffer and Lange, I recommend this movie. They gave one of the best performances of their careers. For those who are not, but you're a fan of good performances I also recommend this film.
Grade: B+ (the performances I give A)"
Jessica Lange continues to amaze me
Linda Linguvic | 05/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The film is worth buying for Jessica Langes performance alone. Michelle Pheiffer and Jason Robards were also exceptional. The very talented Jennifer Jason Leigh does not get an opportunity to shine as she fills a small, poorly developed role. The Golden Globes got it right with a Best Actress nomination for Lange for this role, but what happened at Oscar time. Lange was overlooked for what was surely one of the very best performances of the year.Buy this film and witness great acting!"
Critics divide along the line. . .
Linda Linguvic | 08/06/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"of either acceptance or rejection of the proposition that Shakespeare's comment upon the human condition can be contemporised.For myself, I think Jane Smiley admirably succeeds in portraying the deep familial hatred that sometimes occurs for no revealed (rhyme or rational) reason."