Stanley & Iris
Time Out saysWritten by Harriet Frank Jr and Irving Ravetch, this free adaptation of Pat Barker's Union Street is relocated from Teeside to the industrial landscape of New England and turned into a worthy vehicle for two mature stars. All that remains from Barker's original seems to be the survival instinct of the average home-maker. Iris King is a cake factory veteran, recently widowed, who takes on the task of teaching illiterate Stanley to read when she inadvertently causes his dismissal from said confectionery establishment. We're talking quality here, Ritt being the man who directed Hud, Sounder and Norma Rae, the leads being De Niro and fellow double Oscar winner Jane Fonda, and the overriding theme of literal word blindness being handled with charm and dignity. The problem is that, given Fonda and De Niro's established images, one can't help thinking what is their problem; and the ending, despite good intentions, is American cinema at its tackiest and most hollow.