(out of 5)
Compelling drama based on Jane Hamilton’s esteemed novel, about a city woman turned farm wife (Sigourney Weaver) who is bested by the law of the land. Weaver is also the local school nurse who is torn apart when her best friend’s child drowns in the pond behind her house while she is supposed to be watching her. Soon after the accident, a negligent mother (Chloe Sevigny) accuses Weaver of sexually abusing her son during a checkup at school. The baptism by fire that the character undergoes to truly find her place in the world isn’t as compelling as it should be, thanks mostly to Scott Elliott’s very literal instead of emotional translation of Hamilton’s writing, but the actors involved are more than enough to get you into the movie. Julianne Moore is excellent as the best friend and bereaving mother, while Arliss Howard‘s constantly excitable defense attorney is a pure pleasure to watch. The film could also do without Weaver’s voiceover narration, which, like most narration in movies is superfluous and explains things that are already obvious in the story.
Directed by Scott Elliott
Cinematography by Seamus McGarvey
Music by Pat Metheny
Production Design by Richard Toyon
Costume Design by Suzette Daigle