Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1999. FilmColony, Miramax, Nina Saxon Film Design. Screenplay by based on his novel. Cinematography by Produced by Richard N. Gladstein. Music by Rachel Portman. Production Design by David Gropman. Costume Design by Renee Ehrlich Kalfus. Film Editing by Lisa Zeno Churgin.
Overrated but touching drama based on the best-selling novel by John Irving (who adapted the screenplay himself). Where other Irving novels have failed miserably on the big screen (The Hotel New Hampshire, The World According To Garp), this one succeeds by not being as self-aware of its quirky nature as the other two were, focusing on the loving relationships between the many characters of the story. Tobey Maguire is excellent as an orphan raised under the watchful eye of the doctor (Michael Caine) who runs the orphanage he lives in. Paul Rudd and Charlize Theron show up in the hopes that the doctor will perform an abortion on her, and upon their departure Maguire gets his chance to get out and see the world. Travelling with them, Maguire falls hopelessly in love with Theron while working on her future mother-in-law’s apple orchard. There are lots of other sub-plots I could mention as well, but suffice it to say that this is an excellent movie for those of us who once in a while like to see a film that’s just about good people.
Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor (Michael Caine); Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Director (Lasse Hallstrom); Best Art Direction; Best Film Editing; Best Original Score
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Michael Caine); Best Screenplay
Screen Actors Guild Award: Best Supporting Actor (Michael Caine)
Nomination: Outstanding Ensemble Cast
Toronto International Film Festival: 1999
Venice Film Festival: In Competition