A Thousand Acres (1997)

A THOUSAND ACRES packs quite a load into 1 hour and 45 minutes:  
incest, infidelity, miscarriages, mastectomies, estranged children, 
repressed memories, alcoholism, senility, admissions of guilt, de-
clarations of love, unsympathetic husbands, hostile fathers, drunk 
driving, drowning, poisoned well water, church social brawls, peo-
ple running through corn fields during severe weather, and dramatic 
flashbacks in department store dressing rooms.  All that's missing 
is a suicide attempt in this sudsy update of "King Lear," by way of 
Jane Smiley's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.  (The latter detail--
re: Prize-winning-- is noted in the opening credits, no less!)  There
isn't nearly enough connective tissue to the many melodramatic
highlights, but the big-name cast (Pfieffer, Lange, Leigh, Robards) 
acts their heart out.  (There's probably a nomination or two in here,
somewhere.  Maybe.)  Too bad the whole thing is only *intermittenly*
awful.  I wouldn't have minded a few more howlers along the lines of
Lange's "Daddy might be a drinker and a rager, but he goes to church!"
(Rated "R"/105 min.)

Grade: C
Copyright 1997 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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