The Bostonians (1984)


“Well, I’ve often found that people are only waiting for the light.” – Mrs. Birdseye

Number of Times Seen – 1 (1 Nov 2019)

Brief Synopsis – In the 19th Century, a Boston socialite and her Southern lawyer cousin both vie for the affections of another prominent socialite.

My Take on it – This is yet another film that I had never heard of before coming across it during my quest to try and watch all films that have received Oscar nominations for performances.

The cast of this film is quite impressive especially given the fact that Christopher Reeve, Jessica Tandy, Nancy Marchant, Linda Hunt and Vanessa Redgrave all appear here.

Unfortunately, like many other films of this period drama genre, it fails to be engaging enough and comes across as being quite tedious and boring for its entire two hour run time.

The story moves at a snail’s pace and not enough happens.

The cast, despite being quite amazing, are underused and most of them have terrible chemistry with one another which hurts the realism of it all.

The story isn’t focused enough which makes it even more difficult to try and watch to see what will happen to these characters.

Redgrave was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here and that probably has much to do with the way that she plays this character in a very ambiguous way throughout.

The plot and story line drag on too much and it takes too long to get to the crux of the story which unfortunately isn’t presented in a more interesting way.

Bottom Line – Another really boring and tedious period drama that moves at a snails pace. This film has an amazing cast, but the interactions between the characters just doesn’t work and it’s so difficult to watch this since the story doesn’t feel focused enough. Redgrave was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here and that might be largely for the very ambiguous way that she plays this character.  The story drags on too much and takes far too long to try and get to the main story which in itself isn’t engaging enough at all.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to Margarita Landazuri at the Turner Classic Movies website, “…the origin of the term ‘Boston Marriage’, which in the late 19th century came to describe a marriage-like relationship between two women who live independently together without a man’s support, is attributed to [Henry] James and his novel. James is believed to have drawn the inspiration for Olive and her fellow suffragettes from his sister Alice, who lived with another woman in a Boston marriage”. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (2/10)

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3 thoughts on “The Bostonians (1984)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1984 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z | MovieRob

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