Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1984. Delphi II Productions, TriStar Pictures. Screenplay by Robert Benton. Cinematography by Nestor Almendros. Produced by Arlene Donovan. Music by John Kander. Production Design by Gene Callahan. Costume Design by Ann Roth. Film Editing by Carol Littleton.
Sally Field won her second Academy Award for her strong performance in this rural drama. After her sheriff husband is accidentally shot by a young boy playing with a gun in the Depression-era south, Field’s world as a single woman with a giant farm to keep running becomes much scarier. Now faced with the possibility of losing her land, she must harvest a huge crop of cotton or face the bank’s wrath, which is when her blind boarder (John Malkovich) and her new servant-turned-friend (Danny Glover) come in very handy. Apparently based on Benton’s own experiences, the film is blessed with terrific dialogue and a powerful sense of reality. The excellent ensemble cast also includes Ed Harris and a notable Lindsay Crouse as Field’s sister.
Academy Awards: Best Actress (Sally Field); Best Original Screenplay
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Supporting Actor (John Malkovich); Best Supporting Actress (Lindsay Crouse); Best Director (Robert Benton); Best Costume Design
Berlin Film Festival Award: Best Director (Robert Benton)
Golden Globe Award: Best Actress-Drama (Sally Field)
Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Screenplay