“[voiceover] My journey to maturity began in New York, in 1928. I was married to Charles Rawlings, the newspaper man and yachting enthusiast. I had been trying to write stories that I thought would be most likely to sell – gothic romances were extremely popular – and I had written dozens. I was desperate to express myself. Even as a child I’d been consumed with the desire to be a writer.” – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Dec 2018)
Brief Synopsis –During the 1930’s, an aspiring female writer moves to the rural parts of Florida in order to get inspiration.
My Take on it – This film actually has a very interesting premise yet it probably works much better on paper than it manages to do on the screen.
The story itself moves along quite slowly and meanders along at a snail’s pace throughout; there are even scenes that feel as if everything is moving in place instead of forward.
The depiction of rural life during that time and in that place is done really well and they are able to touch upon some great ideas along the way, but overall things just don’t succeed in staying interesting and engaging enough.
Mary Steenburgen and Peter Coyote are both fine in the lead roles but don’t manage to create powerful enough characters despite their obvious chemistry together.
Rip Torn and Alfre Woodard were both nominated for Oscar’s in supporting categories for their performances but neither could really be considered enough of a standout here as one would hope for.
Bottom Line – Interesting idea that probably works much better on paper than on the screen. The story meanders along way too much and feels as if it is moving in place the entire time. They do manage to show the kind of life people led in rural areas and they are able to touch upon some great ideas along the way, but overall, this just doesn’t work well enough. Torn was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and Woodard for Best Supporting Actress for their performances, but neither really stand out so much as one would hope for.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The fiddle tunes Rip Torn’s character plays, and the style in which they are played, are authentic to the region and era. They are based closely on recordings of Cush Holston, an old time fiddler who was from rural north Florida and recorded at an advanced age at a folk festival in 1960. The tune Torn sings is Holston’s “Coon Dog,” and the instrumental he plays before this is also from Holston, “Have a Hood Time Tonight.” The actual playing for the film was done by a Florida old time musician who had studied and researched the music of Holston. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)
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