the stone angel

The Stone Angel opens tomorrow in six theaters around the country. So if you don't live within movie-watching distance of Edina, MN; Los Angeles, CA; Encino, CA; Pasadena, CA; New York, NY; or Bethesda, MD... I guess you're out of luck. No word yet on a wide release.

I do think it's one to keep your eye on, though... I'll lay down modest odds that we'll see an Oscar nod for Ellen Burstyn. More on that in a bit.

First, the movie. I was lucky enough to score an advance screening last night; in all honesty, I kept flashing back to Fried Green Tomatoes. The formula is familiar: Meet old person. Old person has dithering family. Old person has dismal living situation. Oh, but look at this flashback. Old person used to be young and feisty. Old person used to have lots of sex.

Overall, it was pretty depressing, and a bit predictable. I did enjoy Fried Green Tomatoes once upon a time; unfortunately, The Stone Angel substitutes empty sexuality for true warmth, and pithy wit in the place of genuine joy.

The one redeeming factor in this movie is Ellen Burstyn, the aforementioned old person. She gets all the great lines (some of them really are fantastic), and it's obviously intended as an Oscar vehicle for her. Nothing wrong with that. Her performance is impeccable, and I'd be surprised to see her snubbed.

It's just... I forget... entertainment is supposed to be entertaining, right?
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10 Response to "the stone angel"

  1. Ryan McNeil says:
    July 10, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    Part of me is curious about this movie, but unless it gets some MAJOR year-end love, I'll be giving it a skip.

    We had to study the book it's based on in high school, and our teacher was really high on it and treated it like the greatest thing ever written.

    Between that book, and it's companion novel "The Diviners" I've had quite enough Margaret Lawrence for one lifetime.

    Lookin' forward to your review if ya see it!

  2. Nayana Anthony says:
    July 10, 2008 at 12:55 PM

    Ooh, that hurts. I must be doing something wrong. I did see it. This was the review.

  3. Daniel says:
    July 10, 2008 at 2:25 PM

    So I didn't bite on the Landmark email for this one. I wasn't too interested and was at the Mamma Mia! preview instead.

    No idea it was such a small release. Ellen Burstyn already got snubbed once for Requiem for a Dream (initiating my long-standing grudge with, ahem, Julia Roberts), but worst-case scenario, she does have an older statue from the 70's.

  4. Nayana Anthony says:
    July 10, 2008 at 2:34 PM

    How was Mamma Mia!? I'm still on the fence. Review forthcoming?

  5. Daniel says:
    July 10, 2008 at 3:52 PM

    Ha, I'm still on the fence after seeing it, too!

    I'll probably have something up next week. If you've seen the musical or you like ABBA or you like Meryl Streep or you like any of the three male leads, you'll probably love it. "Dancing Queen" is quite a bit of fun. Ahem.

    Rosedale was standing room only, with probably about 10 guys and 300 women.

  6. Nayana Anthony says:
    July 10, 2008 at 3:56 PM

    I sort of like ABBA, Meryl Streep is cool... but i LOVE Colin Firth. So maybe I'll love it?

    The male-to-female ratio is hilarious. Reminds me of the Sex and the City preview I caught at Rosedale.

  7. Anonymous Says:
    July 10, 2008 at 11:15 PM

    Daniel, Dancing Queen? Ahem, indeed.

    Naya, and I think that you're probably right on the money with your review. Ellen Burstyn is one of our best, sadly underused. It will be a cold day in Hell before it plays here in the wilds of Alabam (actually, I write this from North Carolina, but you get the picture. or the film. or whatever.)

  8. Ryan McNeil says:
    July 12, 2008 at 1:16 PM I feel REALLY bad. I just saw the title and instantly shrunk back to my anti-Margaret Lawrence-istic ways.

    Going back and re-reading: "Overall, it was pretty depressing, and a bit predictable...empty sexuality for true warmth, and pithy wit in the place of genuine joy." sounds a lot like how I remember the book being.

    In a way, you could have almost included this one in your "Friends Won't Let..." series!

  9. Nayana Anthony says:
    July 13, 2008 at 4:09 PM

    Mad, your comment was welcome. I admit I did a bit of a rewrite after that.

    I don't think I would include it with FWLFS though... I'm going to try to reserve that for the truly atrocious dreck. (Currently contemplating Beverly Hills Chihuahua.) The Stone Angel was just ok... not up to your standards or mine probably, but passable.

  10. Anonymous Says:
    July 25, 2008 at 2:56 PM

    I also want to see this.....I mean, Ellen Page...Ellen Burstyn, enough for me to want to see it. I think.

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