The Prince Of Tides (1991)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

USA, 1991.  , , .  Screenplay by , , based on the novel by Pat Conroy.  Cinematography by .  Produced by Barbra Streisand.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Barbra Streisand shows, as with her other films as director, her incredible talent with directing actors while never being able to balance out uneven storylines.  Nick Nolte is excellent as a high school teacher from the south who is brought to New York City by a psychiatrist (Streisand) to help in the case of his mentally unstable twin sister (Melinda Dillon).  Her latest suicide attempt has prompted her doctor to ask Nolte questions about their family’s past in order to unravel some of her troubles. Streisand is in no way prepared for the terrifying history of abuse and fear that these two were raised in, nor is Nolte ready for how much he ends up connecting with the good doctor. The film is at first a fascinating exploration of family troubles, then loses its focus when the problems are cleared up and the story concentrates on the romance budding between the two leads. It quickly shifts from interesting to romantic to ridiculous, ending with a lamentably bad finale that is completely out of touch with the rest of the experience. Streisand’s acting is even better than her direction, still managing to captivate audiences with her presence in the same fresh way she had about her in her film debut Funny Girl. She is equalled by the fierce and memorable performance by Kate Nelligan as Nolte’s domineering, social-climbing mother, a character whose experience walks away with the whole film.

The Criterion Collection:  #1022

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Picture; Best Actor (Nick Nolte); Best Supporting Actress (Kate Nelligan); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography; Best Art Direction; Best Original Score

Golden Globe Award:  Best Actor-Drama (Nick Nolte)
Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Director (Barbra Streisand)

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