This was on my "to watch" list for a while although It's hard to distinguish this from the many 70s & 80s movies based on plays, though this feels like a lesser work of Foote's. It's classic Southern pent-up rage with every character a foil to a certain aspect of Page's personality. I found Page grating at times, her daughter-in-law even moreso. Still, they don't make movies for older actresses like this anymore.
One of those films I have long been meaning to watch but for whatever reason just never did. Pretty amazing performances all around. De Mornay shines. As Roger Ebert notes "The movie surprises us: It's not really about conflict between the generations, but about the impossibility of really understanding that you are even a member of an older generation, that decades have gone by." Indeed.
At times, it's a touching story about the conflict between one's past and present. But, beneath its sentimental concept, I just don't think there's that much there. Much of the dialogue and character progression lacks true poignancy and seems irrelevant to the overall plot, resulting in a very boring experience. While Page's performance is not without its merits, I feel she overplayed a number of scenes.
There's a sadness to a place dying. To see the last who will walk the ground of a town. Small town movies seem to capture this best.. the feeling that we all know each other. And perhaps the new forces that seem to divide us and to separate us from the natural world. This is a story about birds, trees, about blue sky and fields and roots that tear into the foundation of buildings. And ultimately about home and heart
4.5 Great adaptation for the screen. Hard to take Jessie Mae's shrill voice & disrespectful elder abuse. Geraldine Page is stupendous. The off-balance patriarchal system is mended at the end as Ludie stands up to his wife, protects his mother, & drives the car. Have watched both my grandmothers go through the heart-breaking need for their true homes, for the land that grounded & protected them. Devastatingly sad.
Horton Foote adapted his own play for this big screen incarnation that marked the film debut of director Masterson. By perfectly casting Geraldine Page, in an Oscar winning turn, as Mrs. Watts the film became something special. Her emotionally rich, heartbreaking and melancholic turn was simply magic. Film was exceptionally cast all around with fine turns from Heard, Glynn and Bradford. Well worth the return trip.
3 1/2. Beautiful cinematography and atmospheric. Very powerful story, but something is missing, and I am not sure if its the in acting. The lead actress, is sometime gripping in the portrayal of her predicament and sometimes falls short, and you see the the acting. John Heard performance was very flat, almost cold. But overall worth watching