The Scarlet Letter (1995)

Can there be a greater test of cinematic endurance than staying awake 
through Roland Joffe's "freely adapted" version of THE SCARLET LETTER?  
Try Demi Moore as Hester Prynne, revisioned here as a New Age, New 
World Wonder Woman.  (She's well-read, well-spoken, and, as the camera 
takes great pains to show us, well-endowed.)  Her partner-in-sin is 
played by Gary Oldman, as the impassioned Reverend Dimmesdale.  (She 
spies him skinny dipping and, unfortunately, so do we.)  

Relentlessly straight-played, THE SCARLET LETTER is bad costume drama 
at its lowest.  How low?  The awfulness includes a love scene with an 
onlooking slave girl "pleasuring herself," a bloody scalps-and-all 
Indian attack, and what appears to be the discovery of Hawthorne's 
long-lost, original ending that sends the adulterers away to live 
happily ever after in the "faraway Carolinas."  

What, Nags Head?  Beaufort??  Myrtle Beach???

Grade: D

Copyright 1995 by Michael J. Legeros 

Originally posted to triangle.movies

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