When her husband dies in an explosion, leaving her with massive debts, two young sons and no visible means of support, Beth Macauley (Lange) moves to a cramped apartment in the city, where she lands a thankless job in a gourmet foodstore. While her younger son (Korsmo) takes to petty burglary, and teenage Chris (O'Donnell) finds solace with a young nurse (Cusack), Beth starts an affair with a musician (Howard); but progress is impeded as she gives way to delayed shock and declines into depression. What distinguishes this weepie is its deglamorised approach: all-consuming angst is anchored in the minutiae of everyday life and wry observation. While not without its occasional lapses into over-long sob sessions, Barbara Benedek and Brickman's intelligent script offers strong characterisations, and the performances - particularly from Lange and Korsmo - are excellent. Absorbing, truthful, and full of tender insight.
You may also like