Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
France/United Kingdom/USA, 1998. Capitol Films, Merchant Ivory Productions, British Screen Productions. Screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, James Ivory, based on the novel by Kaylie Jones. Cinematography by Jean-Marc Fabre. Produced by Ismail Merchant. Music by Richard Robbins. Production Design by Pat Garner, Jacques Bufnoir. Costume Design by Carol Ramsey. Film Editing by Noelle Boisson.
Engrossing drama is Merchant Ivory’s best film since The Remains of the Day. Based on the autobiographical novel by Kaylie Jones, it encapsulates her teenage life and the influence her author father James (The Thin Red Line) had on it. Leelee Sobieski is excellent as the burgeoning Jones, and Barbara Hershey and Kris Kristofferson are irresistibly endearing as her loving parents. Some viewers might not be too impressed by a family drama about people who truly love each other and have no big central conflict, but this wonderful film is proof that even a movie about good people can be challenging viewing in every way. Look for French movie star Virginie Ledoyen in a cameo.
Toronto International Film Festival: 1998