Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1984. Universal Pictures. Story by Robert Dillon, Screenplay by Robert Dillon, Julian Barry. Cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond. Produced by Robert Cortes, Edward Lewis. Music by John Williams. Production Design by Charles Rosen. Costume Design by Joe I. Tompkins. Film Editing by Sidney Levin. Academy Awards 1984. Golden Globe Awards 1984.
The life of a rural family and their trials and tribulations are captured in this wonderful film that rises above soap opera trappings through steady performances and great direction. Sissy Spacek and Mel Gibson are trying to raise their family on their farm, but natural disasters and unpredictable circumstances cause them hardships and force them into dire circumstances. Gibson must now consider taking on an extra job or lose the farm for good. Farm dramas were in no short supply in the early eighties (the Best Actress Oscar category of 1984 had three of them!) and this one is right up there with Robert Benton’s memorable Places In The Heart.