Learning Difficulty





Recommended by Title

Recommended by Disability

Mental Illness: Major Films  
TitleThousand Acres, A (1997)
Alternative/Original Title
DisabilityMental Cancer Breast Alzheimers
DirectorJocelyn Moorhouse
CastMichelle Pfeiffer Jessica Lange Jennifer Jason Leigh Colin Firth Keith Carradine
NotesKing Lear transposed to the rich cornfields of Iowa. Robards is Larry (Lear) now not mad but with Alzheimer's. Leigh is Caroline, (Cordelia), Pfeiffer is Rose (Regan) who has a mastectomy and Lange is Ginny (Goneril). From the novel by Jane Smiley (highly recommended). *********************************************** I remember people raving about the book, then the film but this is an old story. And not because it resembles King Lear. Pfeiffer has had a mastectomy and is still going for checks. Since she had one breast removed her husband isn't too interested in her. We actually see her breasts and it's totally convincing. This is perhaps Pfeiffer's best acting performance though in some ways it's thrown away in this film. For me Pfeiffer and Lange hold together a disjoined script where one can easily lose track of who is married to whom and where motivation is sadly missing. Daddy's sudden switch from giving away his property to two of daughters and then siding with the daughter (Jennifer Jason Leigh) he had just rejected leaves the feeling that something got cut out. It's incomprehensible that Jessia Lange's husband tells Caroline that her father was kicked out of the house on a stormy night when he, himself, was a witness to the father storming off into the wind and rain. Jennifer Jason Leigh hardly gets a lookin. The returning son breezes in, sleeps with both of them and then goes away. Pfeiffer has a second mastectomy and more chemo. Lange leaves her husband and works as a waitress. While we're trying to work out what's going on the story of the father's incest with both his older daughters emerges, and how they protected the youngest from him. You think that when the fight over the land gets to court people are going to hear about this, especially Caroline. But no, the father reveals himself to be senile and the verdict goes in favour of the women. Overall the film is like some melodrama from the 30s.

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