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Friday, April 22, 2016

Testament (1983)

A typical American family consisting of father (William Devane), mother (Jane Alexander), two sons (Rossie Harris, Lukas Haas) and a daughter (Roxanna Zal) in a small middle class suburban Northern California town live out their lives without any major drama. Until one day, a nuclear explosion (one of several) occurs. Based on the short story THE LAST TESTAMENT by Carol Amen and directed by Lynne Littman, this was originally intended for public television but Paramount opted to show it theatrically first. The mundane simplicity with which it begins is a stratagem that pays off very quickly as the film is a devastating portrait of ordinary people placed in extraordinary circumstances. The film contains no special effects and the actual cause of the nuclear detonation is never given to us. It's about how humanity can rise above the horror and persist at the most impossible odds. Jane Alexander gives a powerhouse performance and was justifiably Oscar nominated for best actress anchors the film like a magnet. With Kevin Costner, Rebecca De Mornay, Mako, Leon Ames, Lilia Skala, Lurene Tuttle and Philip Anglim. 

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