(out of 5)

Dull adaptation of the novel by Carol Shields.  plays a famous novelist who has decided to write a book about Saskatchewan poet Mary Swann, a woman who scribbled bits of verse down in her notebook on a regular basis before her husband murdered her and then shot himself. Swann’s memory is mostly kept alive by a local librarian () who has set aside a section of her library dedicated to the deceased’s memory. Richardson blows into town looking for research materials, and brings with her a whole sweep of international attention that eventually reveals some rather shocking truths about Swann and her work. Actually, it’s supposed to be shocking, but it isn’t really, and the numbing character details that one has to wade through for most of the film are not rewarded when the final third comes into play. The film is made with a flat, unappealing look, and the two lead actresses are both criminally underused considering their potential.

Greenpoint Films, Majestic Films International, Norstar Entertainment, Shaftesbury Films

Canada/United Kingdom, 1996

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Toronto International Film Festival 1996

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