Finally I get around to watching this one again. It’s actually been a mystery to me for a long time why this one struck me as so brilliant the first time I watched it, probably about 10 years ago – all I remember is, it really got me deep, and I’ve always thought of it as a really great movie. Without getting too personal, I guess now I see exactly why it resonated with me so much back then, and it still does. This is really the domestic dispute, dysfunctional family movie, it really gets its hands dirty and Albert Finney and Diane Keaton are really frighteningly convincing, both when they’re at each other’s throats and when they’re so obviously still in love despite their differences.
It’s an incredibly different movie for director Alan Parker, none of his slick style getting in the way of the human drama (I guess he got it out of his system in the other half of his ’82 double whammy, Pink Floyd: The Wall). Special mention has to go to Dana Hill, too, I’ve said it before talking about the TV movie Fallen Angel but she was such a fantastic young actress in the few movies she did before her untimely death, and her performance here only gets better as the movie goes on.
Also, silly tidbit really but I couldn’t help noticing, look out for O-Lan Jones as “countergirl” (scene where the girls spill hot chocolate all over a coffee shop counter) – almost the exact same character she played 10 years later in Natural Born Killers, and then another 5 years later in The Truman Show, and actually, now I look at her IMDb filmography, in a lot of other movies, lol! I guess she just has that look or something.
Yes, the ending is far-fetched (and yes, I guess here too Parker’s usual flair can’t help sneaking in) – but that final shot of Finney, surrounded by his daughters, reaching out for Keaton, it’s just so powerful. It’s funny how well this movie goes with Unfaithful, which I watched the other day. Both deal with disloyalty, with heavy focus on how it affects those outside the relationship; and both end in surprising violence and even more surprising resolve, in addition to being driven by real, powerful performances. It might be too much to actually double bill them, you’d be exhausted after; but they go well together, that’s all I’m saying.