WHERE DOES A MOTHER END AND A DAUGHTER BEGIN?
After killing her lover, artist Ingrid Magnussen (Michelle Pfeiffer) is sentenced to life in prison, and her daughter (Alison Lohman) ends up in a foster family; they stay in touch, but is that a good thing? This adaptation of an Oprah’s Book Club choice gives you everything you expect from that kind of endorsement. The tragic story of a complex relationship between mother and daughter is a gripping one, however, nicely helmed by a filmmaker who previously specialized in documentaries. The women are great; Lohman as the kid who tries to liberate herself, Pfeiffer as the icy mother, and Renée Zellweger as an emotionally unstable actress.
2002-U.S. 109 min. Color. Produced by Hunt Lowry, John Wells. Directed by Peter Kosminsky. Screenplay: Mary Agnes Donoghue. Novel: Janet Fitch. Cast: Alison Lohman (Astrid Magnussen), Robin Wright Penn (Starr), Michelle Pfeiffer (Ingrid Magnussen), Renée Zellweger, Billy Connolly, Svetlana Efremova…Patrick Fugit, Noah Wyle, Melissa McCarthy.
Trivia: Barbra Streisand was allegedly offered to direct and star as Ingrid. In the movie, Zellweger’s character shows Astrid footage from a film that she starred in; the clip is taken from Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1997).
Quote: “Love humiliates you. Hatred cradles you.” (Pfeiffer)
Last word: “I used my own documentary experience for over 10 years. We shot the movie entirely with a handheld camera. Our D.P. carried the camera for every frame of the movie. We never got ahead of Astrid through any situation. We always followed her and let her be the guide to lead us through the movie. That way you get a very realistic sense of being there, of being present.” (Kosminsky, About.com)