“You take water, for example. Sometimes it’s water, sometimes it’s ice. Sometimes it’s steam, vapor. It always the same old H2O. It only changes its properties. Your mother’s like that. She’s like water.” – Hank
Number of Times Seen – Twice (3 Mar 2001 and 16 Oct 2019)
Brief Synopsis – In the 1960’s an officer working on the Nuclear test program is transferred with his wife and young daughter to a new base in Alabama where things are not necessarily being done according to the law.
My Take on it – This is a film that I saw years ago on cable and didn’t remember much about the story besides the fact that it starred Jessica Lange and Tommy Lee Jones.
The premise of the movie is quite interesting but the way that they present things comes across as quite mediocre.
Jones is a great actor but the way that his character is portrayed here makes him feel too much like a caricature and a stereotype instead of something more innovative and fresh and it hurts things much more than it should.
Lange tho is obviously the best part of this film because she is able to play her character in a way where it can be seen how she is actually on the verge of insanity but not quite there due to everything going on around her.
The madness tho is visible every so often and allows us to see how she is moving closer and closer towards it as the story moves along to more volatile and dangerous areas.
She deservingly won an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in this film.
The story itself is paced very poorly and the true potential of this kind of plot gets lost in the shuffle as thing creep along away from a more interesting story than the one shown.
The film also sports a nice supporting cast that includes Powers Boothe and Chris O’Donnell who both have small yet significant parts in the movie.
Bottom Line – Interesting idea that unfortunately comes across as being quite mediocre. Jones is a great actor, but his character seems too much like a stereotype here which hurts things too much. Lange is the best part of this film since she gives a great performance as a woman teetering on the verge of madness and creeps closer and closer as the events begin to become more and more dangerous. She deservingly won an Oscar for Best Actress for this very versatile performance. The story itself moves at a strange pace and unfortunately doesn’t manage to find a way to show its true potential. The supporting cast is also great and both Boothe and O’Donnell shine in their small yet very significant roles.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The film was completed in 1991, but was shelved and not released theatrically until three years later. This was due to studio production house Orion Pictures’ bankruptcy. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)
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