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Friday, October 12, 2012

The Trip To Bountiful (1985)

Set in the 1940s, an elderly woman (Geraldine Page in an Oscar winning performance) lives in a small two room apartment in Houston with her son (John Heard) and shrewish daughter in law (Carlin Glynn). She's homesick for the small town of Bountiful which she left over 20 years ago when the land gave out and she is determined, despite the efforts of her son and daughter in law, to return home one last time. Based on the television play originally shown in 1953 by Horton Foote, it's a sliver of an idea that evokes a gentler and kinder Tennessee Williams piece though thankfully it doesn't push for the tear ducts. The actor turned director Peter Masterson, whose first film this was, wisely senses that this is an actor's piece and doesn't attempt to make the film cinematic but stays out of his actors' way and let's them do their job. Page's performance is all actress-y which can be dangerous when it doesn't work (think Hepburn in ON GOLDEN POND) but there's a reason she was considered one of the great actresses of her generation and she's superb here. The rest of the cast is top notch including Rebecca De Mornay and Richard Bradford. Glynn's character of the bossy daughter in law is a bit of a cliche but it's no fault of her own, it's the writing.

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