Rated: PG-13 for language. Reviewed by: Chris Release date: January 5, 1995 Released by: New Line Cinema
Susan Sarandon stars in this low budget, independent drama. She plays Mag Singer, mother of seven grown sons who, except for the youngest, have left home.
She's separated from her husband Patrick (Sam Shepherd) but he and the boys come home to await news of their eldest son and brother, missing in an explosion at a Marine dorm in the Middle East.
Besides the house being full of anxiety, it is also one of chaos and turmoil. Their story is told through flashbacks and old home movies, and the large cast wanders in and out of the rambling house bringing up old jealousies and resentments.
There's a lot going on in these rooms. Mag is packing to move without telling the rest of the family that she's about to take a civil service test that will enable her to work full time and she feels that she can't cope with the changes in her life. Instead of dealing with them, she plays loud music and tunes everyone out. Patrick is also caught up with his own problem. He suffers from episodes of blindness and then suddenly for no apparent reason, he regains his sight. With all of this going on, the family waits days to hear if their son is alive.
Most of the film centers aroundMag and her foibles and shortcomings. The rest of the characters are mere window dressing. The talented Sean Astin (Rudy) and Robert Sean Leonard (Much Ado About Nothing) as two of Mag's sons, are hardly given any screen time. You'd be doing yourself a favor, if you rent this movie. It's a terrific film with solid performances.
There's much talk of an Oscar nomination for Sarandon for this film. She's very good and overdue for a with, but I'd rather she was nominated for the more satisfying Little Women or The Client than for this confusing portrayal of a bitter woman.