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Hair India (2008)
Hair journey from country misery to shallow luxury
There are many kinds of misery and some of them are shown in this documentary. From absurd luxury rituals to simple people's ignorance through religious beliefs, several topics converge here: hedonism of modern societies, lack of education and poverty, religion and myths,...this film shows different cultures and social strata's life perspectives and way of doing by following the trip of hair cut in Indian temples to honour god to its final destiny - rich women wishing to get hair extensions in a self-indulgence exercise used as a proof of success and glamour. Hair becomes a mere merchandising item and not very glamorous indeed.
The Ambushers (1967)
Helm, Matt Helm
Nice, entertaining movie -having in mind that this is not a serious film but a James Bond parody full of clichés, male chauvinism, sex object female characters and absurd situations. Still, it is a nice sixties movie full of colour, impossible groovy fashions and happy pop music. The final joke about Sinatra and Martin music is an eye blink to the rat pack films they made together. Dean Martin seems to be having a good time as watchers do. Light entertainment.
Relic Hunter (1999)
Enjoyable light hearted action series about a sort of feminine Indiana Jones travelling around the world in search or ancient relics. The series greatly benefit of main character Sydney Fox, played with conviction by Tia Carrere, accompanied by her assistant Nigel Bailey (Christien Anholt) and a right humour touch that makes it a nice entertainment. A predecessor of the librarians in the same line as Hercules and Xena without monsters. Recommended to spend a good time. If you like this series will probably enjoy Hooten and the Lady.
A Shoe Addict's Christmas (2018)
Pleasant Christmas movie
Although the silly plot this is an entertaining Christmas movie due to its performances mainly. Jean Smart happily appears as a sort of fairy godmother who helps Candance Cameron character to pursue her dreams instead of letting them pass away. The fact that she works in a department store and coorganizing a Christmas event with a fireman is merely anecdotic but the whole movie is nice to watch even not in Christmas season.
A Gift to Remember (2017)
Atypical Christmas movie
This is a nice christmas movie with an uncommon plot for this kind of movies. Adds a slight mistery to the typical Christmas romance and brings some new perspective by adding a sort of sub plot that benefits the film. Likeable characters and story. A woman knocks out a pedestrian causing him loosing memory. She will have to find out his real identity to get him reunite with his family for Christmas. Worth watching.
A December Bride (2016)
More makeup than snow
First let me say I do not like these movies with a leading lady with so much makeup on that it makes the Christmas tree totally superfluous. If this is the new kind of it girl I quit. I prefer a more natural "washed face" look in Christmas movies (see Northern lights of Christmas) with more agreeable people a nicest characters. Plot is silly -as much as female main character who wants to have a "Christmas wedding" for no particular reason other than caprice- as the leading lady is. Her character is irritating and not likable at all. Even her interior designer work is dull and bad developed -after looking at her new designed fiancee's home who should stay in? and I found her competition in design with her ex-boss rather miserable for a Christmas movie.
Northern Lights of Christmas (2018)
Nice Christmas movie
Lately many Christmas movies suffer from overdone makeup main characters that makes them look more like dumb cocottes than charming leading ladies. Not in this movie. Here all the characters are more or less likable and there is a nice and charming feeling of happiness all along the film. This, combined with a modern style but not agressive leading lady who happens to be a plane pilot makes it enjoyable and worth watching. Beautiful Alaskan landscapes, inviting community and a more or less plausible story. Actors do it right and the movie succeeds in creating an endearing snowy Christmas atmosphere without being corny, silly or cloying. Not strange if you end wishing to have your own ranch in Alaska.
Christmas Lodge (2011)
Religious propaganda undercovered as Christmas movie
Apart of being bored, outdated and bland the worst thing in this film is its continuous religious undercovered propaganda that make it artificious and false. Relationship between Mary and her fiancee is so silly that anyone can see they will part in a short time. She and her grandfather are continuously remembering oh how happy they were when they went to the Christmas cabin so when she discovers it is almost in ruin needs to save it to go there again with all her family...meaning her future children and husband? no, her dying grandfather- who, by the way, is connected to a oxygen tank...
So silly as it is, the plot is so bad written and absurd as it sounds. Dress it with continuous references to god and the bible and add some prayers here and there and...hopla! There you have a perfect moralist catholic propaganda. Only for athirst catholics.
The Square (2017)
Long, pretentious, boring and with the expectation of being provocative enough to talk about it
The best is Firenze and the title song
Trying to echo Roman Holiday (the main couple drive a vespa alongside Firenze) the best thing about this picture is beautiful city of Firenze in the sixties and the title song. Acting is rather bad and you have the impression that neither Anette nor Tommy were much interested in their roles to make them believable. Plot is really weak and silly even for children- an architecture student meets an art student and falls for her while discover an art forgery ring involving some renaissance painting masterpieces -but could have been better if it wasn't for a poor script. Colour is not very good either. Annette sings several really bad chosen opera songs (Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata duo) that do not fit her voice at all and even sings italian Funiculì-funiculà in a terrible English version that should had blushed their translators. While the original Italian song was written in 1880 to celebrate the opening of the Vesubian funicular, Annette's version totally changes lyrics to a love song (Dream boy). In addition to the main couple there is Italian actor Nino Castelnuovo (Les parapluies de Cherbourg) who sings and plays the guitar with Annette in a local restaurant. Loosely based on Edward Fenton's book The golden doors, the film runs heavily and slowly, it totally lacks of rhythm and that's a pity, since the scenery and a well written script would have included romance, excursions in Firenze's many museums and landscapes and songs that fit in -only the main title one does- would have much improved the movie. A faithful adaptation of Fenton's novel with a younger teenager actress like Hailey Mills would have been a much better option.
Masquerade in Mexico (1945)
The films of Mitchell Leisen do have that special touch that confers them a particular brightness and interest. In this movie Dorothy Lamour plays a thief's (George Rigaud) girlfiend tricked to carry a stolen smuggling diamond to Mexico whithout her knowledge. Once there she gets rid of the jewel by putting it into a strange's pocket who happens to be Patric Knowles. A succession of events and the meeting with Mexican famous torero (Arturo de Córdova, who also appeared in Leisen's Frenchman's creek) who runs after her lead to a Mexican villa where miss Lamour sings some songs disguised as a Spanish countess. But Thomas' wife Helen (Ann Dvorak) is soon jealous of her and plans to unmask her when she discovers her true identity. Miss Lamour sings several south american songs like "Adiós mariquita linda","Noche de ronda" and "Buscándote" and she also sung Perfidia that was sadly deleted from the movie in the end. Stunning Edith Head fashions and luxurious scenography add a styling and fascinating touch to the movie. It is a pity it was not filmed in glorious technicolor. As a curiosity, actor Juan Torena (Del mismo barro) appears uncredited as master of ceremonies.
Armando Conforti (Vittorio de Sica) and his family run a successful knick-knack business and currency dealer near piazza San Pietro in Rome. But things begin to change when her daughter Lucia (Susana Canales) meets his young brother's professor Roberto (Walter Chiari) and try to hide their way of living. Fun Italian comedy with great performances, that also include Dolores Palumbo as Margherita, Matilde Muñoz Sampedro as Assunta, Mario Berriatúa as Gino and Tony Angeli as Vittorio. The movie is filmed in Rome and has nice songs -some by Gianni Dorelli, who also sings the title song and a curious English version of Come prima -, a rock&roll dancing scene by its Italian championship and an amusing story with never dropping timing. Nice entertainment and fun to watch.
Nice Disney movie, a mixture of Treasure island and Johnny Tremain, The Mooncussers (named this way because wreckers do curse the shining moon to hide for better practice their pirate acts) benefits of its cast: Oskar Homolka plays brilliantly old captain Urias Hawks turned into a wrecker and Kevin Corcoran is great as Jonathan Feathers, the young boy who helps to capture them. Based on Iris Vinton book Flying Ebony (the name of the horse Jonathan rides), the plot is nice and the story well developed and interesting, including a thrilling horse race and shipwrecks. Nice script, splendid performances by Homolka and Corcoran and a catchy opening credits song make this an entertaining and worth watching movie.
The Truth About Spring (1965)
If it had been a Disney movie, this story about a rich boy who meet a father and daughter who live free in a ship sailing along would have been much different, for sure. William (James MacArthur) is a rich boy sailing on a yatch with his uncle (David Tomlinson) who meets and befriends Tommy (John Mills) and his teenager daughter Spring (Hayley Mills, John Mills daughter in real life) who live free on a sailing small ship and decides to spend his last summer fishing with them before coming back to the USA and become a lawyer. Some pirates are involved in the plot as well as the beginning of the youth romance. But the whole movie, although refreshing and nice to watch mailny for the landscapes finally goes nowhere. Finally William and Spring decide to go back to the USA to get married (although she is only in her teens!) and live a comfortable life ("make her children soon and have her occupied" says the father to William in the end...to avoid she begins to think why she has changed her wild and free life for a conservative and bored life maybe?). A bit depressing. The movie, a British production, shows all the natural splendor of Catalan Costa Brava, where it was filmed in the early sixties and the professional acting that is expected from such nice cast. But lacks of that magic touch that Disney had given to it. So let's try to imagine the plot that might have been if it had been a Disney movie: William, a rich boy having holiday with his uncle in their yatch sailing by the Mediterranean sea meets by chance a fisherman called Tommy and his young daughter Spring. They live fishing in their ship and living wild and free. But they can't fish everywhere because a big fishing company operates there and grabs most resources using its power to forbid small boats like Tommy's to allow fishing there. So they must work furtively. If only they had some money their ship could be repaired and they could fish farther and Tommy could send Spring to a proper school to have some education (an idea Spring is not fond of). That's why Tommy is always searching for an old treasure hidden in one of the islands. Only he does not know in which one it is and that's why Spring makes scoff of him. So Tommy accepts taking William on board for some extra money. While in the boat, William begins to experience the freedom and enjoys it. Also begins to fall in love with free spirited Spring. One day William and Spring land in one of the islands to equip themselves with some food supplies, she incidentally falls down into a natural cave. William goes to rescue her and they decide to explore the cave, finding it was an old pirate shelter. Hidden under the cave's ground they find the pirate treasure! A chest full of coins and gems! They hurry back to the boat to tell Tommy. Finally they will be able to repair the ship! When on board, everybody is happy. But summer is leading to its end and William can't sleep that night thinking on he will have to return to his regular life in the USA leaving Tommy...and Spring. And the free life he has now learnt to love. Tommy can't sleep either thinking he will have now no excuse to send Spring to a school. And Spring can't sleep thinking on saying goodbye to William. All of them feel miserable and meet on the deck to have some fresh air. When they begin to chat to each other all of them realize they feel the same. So finally they make a decision: if money makes them so unhappy what's the use of it? They decide to go back to the island and put it back where they found it where it will remain safe in case they need it...except for a small amount they will use to repair the ship or maybe buying a bigger one and pay some debts. William decides to stay with them instead of returning to his bored life, using his lawyer title to advocate for fishermans' rights and probably in the future he and Spring will marry. So everybody is happy in the end. Alternate ending: after using the money to repair/buy the ship, William returns to the USA with Spring to do further study promising to return to Tommy's next summer, so from now on they will divide their lives between both worlds.
Venere imperiale (1962)
The loves of Pauline
Nice -if not historically accurate- biopic of Pauline Bonaparte, Napoleon's sister from her infancy in Corsica to his' brother defeat. The film greatly benefits from Gina Lollobrigida's cast as Pauline. She is the film and plays her role with conviction. Her Pauline is a strong will woman determined to live life and faithful to his brother. (In fact Pauline was trully the only one of his relatives that gave him her jewels to sell when he was defeated, an episode that is shown at the end of the movie). The title comes from a Canova's Venus Victrix, a scandalous statue of Pauline naked made and exhibited during her marriage with prince Camillo Borghese. The movie begins in Corsica, where she lives with her family in poor conditions due to his brother's Lucien sedicious comments. The USA version censored several scenes that remain in the European version (notably reducing film's length), such as the opening one showing Pauline and Marseille proconsul Fréron, whom she is sentimentally involved and plan to marry. But when his brother Napoleon returns he forbids their marriage. This is shown in the film as the beginning of her dissipated life, beginning a scandalous lovers' career that leads her from Paris to Haiti following her first husband, general Leclerc and back to Paris when his husband dies from yellow fever only to remarry -by Napoleon's orders- to Italian prince Camillo Borghese. In the middle she meets captain Joules de Canouville (Stephen Boyd) and fall in love with him. At a time when women were confined at home, to be wives and remain quiet, Pauline did what most men did, and that was rather unusual and critisized then - and even now is. The story succeeds in showing Pauline's free will personality and independent spirit, and it is true enough -even taking many licenses- to make a nice entertainment. Action, humour, nice photography and beautiful scenery, palaces and fashions make it a notable film to watch.
La nonna Sabella (1957)
This fine italian comedy directed by Nino Risi deservedly won the gold shell award at San Sebastian cinema festival in 1957. The story of a stubborn village old woman who wishes her grandson marries the richest girl in town to support his studies in Naples and allows her visit Rome is a fun movie with sympathetic characters. The success of the film is maily due to its cast: Renato Salvatori as Raffaele, Tina Pica as nonna Sabella, Silva Koscina as Lucia, Peppino De Filippo as Emilio and Dolores Palumbo as Carmelina. All of them contribute to endow the film with a joyful and happy feeling that benefits the story, based on a book by Pasquale Festa Campanile: La nonna Sabella. The film was a complete success that lead to a sequel with the same cast: La nipote Sabella.
Lina Cavalieri (née Natalina Cavalieri) was a famous belle epoque Italian opera singer who was known as the world's most beautiful woman because of her incomparable beauty and her extreme hourglass figure. Cavalieri's portrait has been also hugely popularised in many forms by artist Piero Fornasetti and writer Gabriele D'Annunzio dedicated her a copy of his book IlmPiacere.
Extremely underrated and unknown by most part of the audience -probably because it is an Italian movie and not from the USA -this film tells Lina's more or less acurate biography but, far from being a simply biopic, it excels in so many aspects that the movie should deserve a worldwide success. However, it is a hidden gem with lots of interesting points:
First of all, miss Lollobrigida cast is a total success. She does a remakable job here: not only plays her role in a very convincing way but also sings her opera parts beautifully (she was trained to be an opera singer when she was very young but had to quit because her family lack of money). In fact, she had refused to play the main role in Italian movie Aida (1953) based on Giuseppe Verdi's opera because she was required to play the role only, not doing the singing. And so the role went to Sofia Loren.
The sword duel with Gina in a D'Artagnan style costume -based in the true duel between Lina and a a theatre actress in Rome- is well done and fun to watch and reminds of Gina's previous role in Fanfan La Tulipe with Gérard Philipe. Her ultra small cinched waist is comparable to real Cavalieri's one, that made audiences gasp when she appeared on the stage.
Miss Lollobrigida's leading man in the film is great Italian actor Vittorio Gassman, who has not much to do with his role but match her nicely.
One of film's highlights are indescriptable and breathtakingly beautiful Nino Novarese's gowns. Miss Lollobrigida looks gorgeous in them. This Italian designer had studied architectural theatral design and had worked in la Scala de Milan previous to work as a fashion designer in many Hollywood movies and winning two academy awards for Cleopatra (1963) and Cromwell (1970). Also, he was nominated by Prince of foxes (1949) and he was recognized internationally for his highly detailed and historically correct fashion designs. In fact, his work in Cleopatra, where he designed most military uniforms and men wardrobe, is clearly different from Cleopatra's character one, that suffered from an excessively much more "modern" attire (by Irene Sharaff and Renié).
Also remarkable is the cast of italian tenor Gino Sinimberghi to play the role of tenor Silvani. He appeared in several films playing opera singers and he is especially remembered for his singer and acting ability in italian operas. Cast also include tenor Mario Del Monaco and Emilio Schuberth (the tailor of the stars, as this italian fashion designer was called). Robert Alda plays the villain, Ann Vernon plays Lina's friend Carmela. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard with excellent Eastmancolor photography by Mario Bava filming stunning palaces and gardens, this movie brings us all the fastuosity and grandeur of classic cinema at its best.
As a curiosity, in the Folies Plastique scene, as appear in the playbill, Lina is supposed to play three theatre tableaux: The Birth of Venus, Cleopatra, beauty of the ancient world and Lina Cavalieri, beauty of the modern world. But sadly Cleopatra's scene does never appear in the movie although it does in the trailer. Maybe it was cut due to film's length?
The San Francisco Story (1952)
If only it was filmed in colour...
This is a standard western with nice dialogues and good cast Joel McCrea as Rick. Elson and Yvonne De Carlo as Adelaide McCall. Story is nice although sets are too poorly done. If only it was filmed in colour and with a longer footage it would have easily been an A western instead of a B one. Docks sequence is almost a film of its own and some more footage could have been a nice addition to the movie, widely developing the story and making it more interesting adding more secondary aspects. Without it, it still remains a very decent and entertaining western.
Flame of the Islands (1955)
Peyton place in Bahamas
Merely it had been filmed as an A movie it would have been a great movie since it has all the elements to be a hit: beautiful scenery and sets, scandal, money, and splendid Yvonne the Carlo at her best. Sadly, Republic was not MGM and so they made a B movie instead. Dance and sing scenes do not quite fit Miss de Carlo's style, choreography especially. Still, they are nice to watch and she looks gorgeous. Doug Duryea's character would have fit much better to Zachary Scott -who is totally wasted and has little to do with his role- rather than Howard Duff. The story has some similarity with Scarlet Angel but would have much improved with a better direction and script. Nice and entertaining film anyway.
Life is easy with eyes closed
David (Robert Young) is a middle aged architect. He is married to Claudia (Dorothy McGuire), a border-line simple minded young girl who can hardly keep house accounting and does not know what a mortgage is. They live in the country, where they run a small farm with the help of a pageant couple. She has nothing to worry about because she has a HUSBAND to protect her; not to teach her (after all, she is a woman so being simple and dependable is what is expected from her - apart from being a mother which she is not YET). She is still too attached to her mother -so they say although mother lives in another town - but that's anything that can not be corrected. So she is happy as only a child can be except for one thing: her husband is never jealous and it worries her. One day, a Bristish neighbour appears and, feeling ecstatic about her simplicity, kisses her. She asks him to repeat since his kiss made her feel how much she is in love with her husband. Sounds exasperating? Well, do not worry, there is more. Husband arrives just in time and realizes she can not be left alone since she has not enough judgement. He needs to make her grow up fast - not intellectually but in the moral way. This will soon happen, as her mother is ill and she is pregnant (finally!) so from now on she will be occupied enough not to waste time flirting but taking care of the baby (thanks heaven!). Have you had enough? No? Then just watch for its sequel: Claudia and David, filmed three years later. Best thing in the movie are terrific McGuire and Young performances: her sprawling posture, the way she walks and her noticeable slow thinking. Significantly the movie in Spain was entitled Claudia, esposa moderna (Claudia, modern wife!)
Wake Up and Dream (1946)
Give me the simple life
This is a good will feel good movie filmed in beautiful technicolor based in Robert Nathan's book The enchanted voyage. A young girl (Connie Marshall) whose brother (John Payne) has enlisted the army runs away from home when she receives a letter from the government saying he is missed. With the help of her brother's fiancée (June Haver) an old neighbour (Clem Beavans) who has built a ship on land and to avoid the ship is being sold and a man they meet (John Ireland) and decides to help them, they sail along the river to reach for the sea, living an adventure to find the missing brother where they even met mr. Robinson Crusoe, preceeded by The wizard of Oz music. Although not a musical, some enjoyable songs appear, such as the opening Give me the simple life and Bell bottom trousers. As a curiosity, this song with completely changed lyrics, was sung by Arthur Kaps, Franz Joham & Hertha Frankel from Austrian group Els vienesos in Spain during the forties with big success. A delightful fable with a happy ending and agreeable characters that emphasizes on people's good will and benefits from beautiful landscapes and good characterizations. If you liked this one try The little Ark, Flipper's new adventure, Toby Tyler or ten weeks with a circus and Follow that dream.
As a bonus, both John Payne and June Haver sing Give me the simple life in separate scenes beautifully. Nice to watch.
Time Out of Mind (2014)
Uncomfortable reality - a better world is possible
Filmed as if a day in the life of a clochard. Coming and going. People passing by, not even noticing the invisible people who live off the welfare society although immerse in it. People who have lost home, posessions, documents, identity... some even their mind. These are the outcasts. Those who have nothing, who own nothing and who are banned from society. The poorest of the poor living in one of world's richest civilisation but out of it. Those who no one sees and no one cares for. The lumpen, the underclass. Disposessed. Like in Jacques Tati's Playtime, sound of the city and people talking is constantly heard although unintelligible, causing an uncomfortable feeling on viewer as Gere's character may feel about the rest of the world.
The film puts the effort on portraying homeless' dayly life errant wandering, walking from place to place, with nowhere to go, but fails in portraying the man who was before, the motive that would make us viewers to really empathize with him: the reason why he lead to these situation and what lies behind it. Only brief flashes are hardly explained. The man who was behind the shadow he has become to.
Richard Gere gives a convincent portrayal of a man who, unable to face reality, ends with mid lost mind due to alcohol abbuse and who until the very end is reluctant to consider himself a homeless. A film to think about..
Los pianos mecánicos (1965)
Put aside your expectatives if by any minute you thought cast including James Mason, Hardy Krüger and Melina Mercouri would suggest this is a nice movie. Just forget it and be prepared to watch the most silly, bore, useless and going-nowhere film. Even the fact that it was filmed in Catalonia's Costa Brava (Cadaqués) is a blouf. Nor a beautiful landscape could help this to become even passable. Any story to script about it -although both director and writer of the original book (Henri François Rey - Les pianos méchaniques) did cooperate in the script! James Mason is totally wasted and Hardy Krüger plays a totally silly role; only Melina Mercouri and the boy playing James Mason's son have a minimal script to work with. Do not waste your time watching this. For those who may be interested, director Juan Antonio Bardem is actor Javier Bardem's uncle.
Young Love, First Love (1979)
Robin (Valerie Bertinelli) is a popular girl in the California high school where she studies. She has not already had any sexual experience yet, on the contrary that her best friends and most of the rest of fellow students. But when Derek (Timothy Hutton), a new student arrives in town she feels highly attracted to him as well as he feels for her. He is not the usual kind of boy she is used to: he is honest, polite and conservative while she is determined and daring. They begin to date but the fact that they come from very different family values makes it somehow difficult: Robin's father left when she was a child and her mother (Fionnula Flanagan) felt so overwhelmed that she decided to avoid this could happen to her daughter by having an open-minded relationship, talking about sex freely, etc. Her partner is reluctant to get married due to an also unsuccessful previous marriage and she feels insecure and rejected because of this. So when Robin realizes she is having a crush on Derek she thinks about having sex with him. Following her mother advise, she asks her gynecologist about contraception methods available only to find out that Derek -whose parents died and is living with his sister's family- is not so sure about having sex so soon due to his' moral values. After feeling rejected she decides to look for a past boyfriend to have sex with but at the last minute she can not go on: after all maybe is not sex what Robin is seeking for but love and while her mother is messy with her own partner relationship, Robin finds out about love.
In the 70's and 80's a lot of family tv movies were made about family problems (divorces, drug addiction, health problems, death, etc). They described nowadays problems and how different family members dealt with them.
Yong love, first love is one of these movies about teenager coming to age (sex awakening) but this time it has a newly different approach: here is the girl who is looking for sex and the boy who is reluctant due to his moral values. Performances are nice and it is clear that the film was made to promote miss Bertinelly actin skills, since she has the biggest (and best) role. Good enough for its modest premise, film always moves in a "comfortable" zone, fair for a family audience. Lacks some better improvement of Robin's mother, especially considering they had miss Flanagan for the role, who could have given a most interesting performance with a better script. And also a bit slow going but in the end it is an interesting and agreeable movie.
Father Figure (1980)
This is a kind of film rather common in the 70's and 80's that they don't do any more. It is about about feelings and family ties and how people do have different points of view depending on their age and personal life circumstances. Because of that it could have been a very good family movie but unfortunately, as seems afraid of getting in a mess of emotions, it suddenly cuts up and ends up failing to reach its peak.
Plot is about two brothers -a young child and a teenager- whose father left seven years ago and whose mother, knowing she has an incurable cancer, decides to commit suicide. Living with their mother and grandmother, they are sent to live with father for the summer after mother's dead. While the older one, angry with his father because he abandoned them and never met them again, has no desire to befriend with him, the younger one -not remembering anything about his father- becomes fond of him as well as father does of him too.
The problem here is that, while the relationship between father and the younger son is well developed and understandably (the child does not have any memories of his father and the initial rejection from father to him -the reason why is explained in the film- soon becomes mutual affection since they get to know each other "for the first time"), the relation with the older one, who was old enough to remember when his father left and subsequently is not so easy to make friends with, is left away although it is clearly seen he is in much need of the father figure he once had and missed. This teenage cry for help mixing suffering feelings both for mother's death and father's incapacity to get close to him is sadly dismissed and would have much improved the movie. Where Ordinary People succeeded showing the feelings of the entire family this film fails by centering in the "easy" part of the problem and this is highly disappointing. The only moment is seems to be a close-up between father and son is ended up abruptly when son asks father why he left and never came back and father rejects to answer (not to reveal the truth) leaving both character and viewers the bitter unhappy premonition that this promising close-up presented as a last chance has been wasted never to take place again -as it is so- and that this father-son relationship that might have been restarted is unfairly left aside instead while the feeling that a simple hug could be enough to shatter teenager's defenses and restore their once broken paternal-filial emotional love bound keeps floating on the air.
So when father finally decides he wants his younger son to stay with him for living while the older one flies away back to grandmother's home without even try to talk to him in a more depth way it is simply heartbreaking and rather frustrating, since you feel an essential -and potentially most interesting- part of the plot has been spared to us and put it away.
Can not avoid feeling sorry and outraged for this son who once was left over and now is definitely, not needed anymore because his time has passed and a new no troublesome replacement-son has taken his place. Moreover, in the end both brothers get apart and "the old family" is definitely and hopelessly broken so father and younger son may start a new family life. New life-new son? Discouraging.
All the actors are very good in their roles (grandmother is played by Martha Scott, Ben-Hur's and Moises' mother) with a special mention to Timothy Hutton (exceptionally touching in this high demanding teenager brother role). It is a pity that this solid actor usually does so bad script choices and mainly waisted in secondary character or minor roles since the 90s considering he is without a doubt the best actor of his generation, always giving intense and exceptional performances. And One of the scarcely actors able to make believable any role he plays - when chosing right.