Stella (1990)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB.5

USA, 1990.   , .   Screenplay by , based on the novel Stella Dallas by .   Cinematography by .   Produced by .   Music by .   Production Design by .   Costume Design by .   Film Editing by , .   

This overly depressing drama is a remake of the classic tearjerker Stella Dallas starring Barbara Stanwyck and Anne Shirley. In this version,  plays a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who gets pregnant out of wedlock with a preppy rich guy (). The twist here is that she decides not to marry him and instead raises the baby on her own. The child grows up into , whose ups and downs are shared with her mother until she just can’t take the embarrassment of having such a loud mouthed, vulgar mother anymore. The acting is great, but what passed for tragedy in the thirties is snobby, classist bullshit in the nineties. Alvarado comes off terribly for not being able to accept her mother, and Midler’s great sacrifice in the last third feels stupid and judgmental on poor people.


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