Sommersby (1993)

JON AMIEL

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

France/USA, 1993.  Canal+, Regency Enterprises, Alcor Films.  Story by , , Screenplay by Nicholas Meyer, , based on the film The Return of Martin Guerre by , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

American remake of The Return of Martin Guerre follows the original plot closely but fails to recreate any kind of energy or momentum, marred further by a lack of chemistry between its two stars. Jodie Foster plays a Civil War-era housewife whose husband () returns from the war a changed man: he makes love to her with increased regularity, he takes good care of their home, and he seems all around to be a caring and decent husband. All this good behaviour is cause for alarm, because before going off to war her husband was a mean and selfish brute whom she hoped would make her a young, happy widow. Is it at all possible that a man who looks exactly like her husband murdered the real man and came back to take his place? Does she want to do anything about it considering that for the first time in her married life she actually loves her husband? It eventually boils down to a courtroom drama but never really manages to get a visible pulse.

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