Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)

JON AVNET

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.5

USA/United Kingdom, 1991.  Universal Pictures, Act III Communications, Avnet/Kerner Productions, Electric Shadow Productions, Fried Green Tomatoes Productions.  Screenplay by , , based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg.  Cinematography by .  Produced by Jon Avnet, .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

This marvelous journey had its inception in Fannie Flagg’s deliciously Southern novel Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe. From there it made the transition to the big screen with its deeply sympathetic characters and enjoyably sentimental situations intact. Films like Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and How To Make An American Quilt have tried to imitate it in the years since (its box office intake even inspired rumours of a sequel), but nothing has come to recreate its quality since it was first released.  gives her best performance (and she has said it has been so far her favourite movie experience) as a middle-aged, frumpy housewife who meets a spunky old lady () while visiting her husband’s aunt in a retirement home in Alabama. At first thinking the old lady an annoying biddy, Bates eventually finds herself listening to Tandy tell her tall tales of the adventures of two young women from her youth, a daredevil tomboy named Idgie Threadgoode (), and a beautiful young lady named Ruth () with whom Idgie falls in love. These stories end up inspiring Bates to take up the reins in her own life and do something useful with herself. Jon Avnet contributes the best direction of his career, before or since, and Thomas Newman’s gorgeous score adds just the right southern flavour to this journey that is one you’re sure to enjoy.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Tandy); Best Adapted Screenplay

Golden Globe Award Nominations:  Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Kathy Bates); Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Tandy)

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