Where the Heart Is

Boorman's ambitious and clearly allegorical black comedy explores (and exorcises?) a variety of problems facing modern youth: family tension, unemployment, ecology. To his wife's dismay, and in the hope that hardship fosters maturity, self-made demolition-tycoon Stewart McBain (Coleman) dumps their three spoiled, dreamy progeny - body-painter Chloe (Amis), computer fanatic Jimmy (Hewlett), and flaky no-hoper Daphne (Thurman) - in a derelict Brooklyn house. Inevitably, with a little help from their motley assortment of friends, the kids begin to make good, even as Dad's rugged individualism comes a cropper. While never less than a lively tribute to communal life, the script (by Boorman and his daughter Telsche) is sadly short of real focus and bite, and it's left to the director's keen visual sense, and fluent choreography of the ensemble scenes, to hold the interest. Moments of surrealism abound, but the actors are indulged, and the allusions to rain forests, conservation etc, are squeezed awkwardly into a farcical narrative, so that real issues are softened and sentimentalised.

Release details

Duration: 107 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Boorman
Screenwriter: John Boorman, Telsche Boorman
Cast: Dabney Coleman
Uma Thurman
Joanna Cassidy
Crispin Glover
Suzy Amis
Joan Cusack
Christopher Plummer
David Hewlett
Maury Chaykin
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