<strong>Rating: </strong>5/5Rate this
Time Out saysA backwoods Texas schoolteacher (Hopper), nearing retirement, is transformed by a relationship with a new 17-year-old pupil (Locane): dodgy territory, given that this is based on a novella by Jim Harrison, author of such 'manly' pseudo-Lawrentian works as Wolf and Legends of the Fall. Hopper's Joseph Svenden is a likeable, honourable man, consumed by phlegmatic inertia: he describes himself as 'a mediocre teacher', with reluctant plans to return to farming if his small school closes; still lives in the old farm with his dying Ma (Harris); and walks crouched over a stick since a tractor accident. He reacts at first with an almost distant attitude to the forceful, knowing advances of the girl. The movie gets interesting not with his hay-barn sexual encounters, nor when he gazes at her naked form as she does a brazen (and ridiculous) Lady Godiva act, but in later scenes, such as when Joseph talks quietly in a bar with his doctor friend (Holbrook) of his lack of concern at the community's disapproval. Busey is good and authoritative as the girl's menacing father. Hackneyed but dignified.