A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley, book review, movie review, film review, entertainment

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"A Thousand Acres"

The tour de force Pulitzer Prize winning Jane Smiley's novel, "A Thousand Acres" hits the theatre screens deceptively, but ever so powerful. With Oscar awards abounding for the multi-talented cast, certainly not to be ignored are the performances of Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jason Robards. They take hold of the rural Iowa land, the emotions, the tensions of a thousand acres about to be bestowed to the three sisters, Lange, Pfeiffer and Jennifer Jason Leigh, as the youngest sister, who rebels against her tyrant of a father, Jason Robards.

When I first saw a rough cut of the movie, it had no music, no opening credits, but it had these incredible performances, with a dream like cast which includes in the subordinate roles, Colin Firth, Keith Carradine and Kevin Anderson. The hostility that you build for Jason Robards as the patriarch is a plus for this talented actor to achieve in his character. His performance haunts you long after you leave the theatre. That it will be likened to a modern Shakespeare's "King Lear" won't be lost to an unsuspecting public.

The movie is directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, an Australian, and how she understands these American farming communities, she was responsible for directorial efforts, "How To Make An American Quilt". The screenplay by Laura Jones, rather faithful to the book.

That Michelle Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange were involved in bringing it to the screen makes this a powerful debut for women seeking a greater roles in movies that show that women are pretty savvy of material that they would like to represent them. With that "A Thousand Acres", is a tempestuous, incestuous storm that blows heatedly into theatre screens.

A Thousand Acres
by: Jane Smiley
Published by: Fawcett Columbine
Publication date: November 1, 1992
A Thousand Acres
Touchstone Pictures (Disney)
with: Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jason Robards
also: Kevin Anderson, Keith Carradine, Colin Firth
directed by: Jocelyn Moorhouse
screenplay: Laura Jones
Opening: Friday 19 September 1997

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Updated Wednesday, 17 September, 1997