Friday, July 8, 2011

Ethan Frome (1993)

Ethan Frome Fails To Hit Home

- Before director John Madden gave us the awful film Shakespeare In Love (1998) he gave us the equally awful 1993 movie Ethan Frome.

The plot centers around the town of Starkfield, MA where the town's new reverend, Rev. Smith (Tate Donovan), learns the story of how a local crippled man, Ethan Frome (Liam Neeson), had a one-time romantic tryst with the maid (Patricia Arquette) while taking care of his sick and cantankerous wife (Joan Allen). Adapted by Richard Nelson from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton's novel, this film is not interesting in the least thanks to an abysmally weak script, average cinematography, and poor direction that turns scenes that are supposed to be poignant into laughable schmaltz. A few elements impress - Rachel Portman contributes a lovely musical score and, while no one is at their finest, Liam Neeson, Joan Allen, Patricia Arquette, and Tate Donovan all perform their roles as best they can under the circumstances - but overall, Ethan Frome is, at best, only marginally worthwhile and quite easily forgettable.

CBC Rating: 4/10

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