Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA, 1989. Warner Bros., Yorktown Productions. Screenplay by Frank Pierson, Cynthia Cidre, based on the novel by Bobbie Ann Mason. Cinematography by Russell Boyd. Produced by Norman Jewison, Richard Roth. Music by James Horner. Production Design by Jackson De Govia. Costume Design by Aggie Guerard Rodgers. Film Editing by Antony Gibbs, Lou Lombardo. Golden Globe Awards 1989. Toronto International Film Festival 1989.
Emily Lloyd plays a Kentucky teenager who has grown up in the shadow of the Vietnam war, having lost her father to it and living with a veteran (Bruce Willis) who still carries emotional scars from the experience. In her effort to find out more about her father, she stirs up more trouble than the rest of her family is willing to take, until finally decidign to just go for it and visit the Washington memorial and go see her long-estranged mother (Joan Allen). The supporting characters all give great performances, but Lloyd’s acting is stiff and obvious, her accent is totally incomprehensible, and the screenplay is rife with bad dialogue. Director Norman Jewison fails completely to bring out any tangible emotional quality out of any of it.