Paradise (1991)

MARY AGNES DONOGHUE

Bil’s rating (out of 5):    BBB.5

USA, 1991.  Grand Highway Productions, Interscope Communications, Touchstone Pictures, Touchwood Pacific Partners 1.  Screenplay by Mary Agnes Donoghue, based on the novel Le Grand Chemin by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

 is sent to live with his aunt () and uncle () for the summer while his parents deal with their impending divorce.  He stumbles upon the couple’s personal tragedy of losing a baby some years earlier, and the toll it has taken on their now unhappy marriage. He also discovers a friendship with another little girl () in the neighbourhood, and through all these relationships, pasts are healed and new bonds are made. This is the sort of story that threatens to be absolute treacle but the experience of it is actually quite lovely and passionate. Griffith shines, and her then-husband Johnson has fantastic chemistry with her in all their scenes, whether tender or violent. Mary Agnes Donohue does a great job as both writer and director in bringing across a naturalistic, easy feel to the film that makes it so enjoyable.

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