30 April 2009

Marvin's Room (starring Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio and Diane Keaton)

I was going through a phase of wanting to see almost any film with Meryl Streep in it - she is so very good in every role she does. So 'Marvin's Room' went on my wishlist, and one of my relatives kindly bought it for me.

It's the story of two sisters. Bessie (Diane Keaton) is almost too good to be true, caring for her bed-ridden father, and her eccentric Aunt Ruth. Almost, but not quite...

Her sister Lee (Meryl Streep), by contrast, has made her own way in the world as a single mother. She has a rebellious 18-year-old son, and a quieter younger son who is something of a bookworm.

The two sisters have been estranged for nineteen years, but finally get together again when one of them receives bad news.

The production is good, and the acting excellent. Meryl Streep excels herself as Lee, by no means typecast yet totally believable. There are some moments of humour that made us chuckle, and some medical moments that were so realistic, they made us cringe. The family dynamics work well, and it was encouraging to see the potential for healing – no spoiler there; this is part of the blurb on the back of the DVD.

Unfortunately, we thought that the movie ended far too suddenly, leaving far too many threads wide open. It wasn’t a particularly encouraging ending, either, so despite an excellent film so far, it left us with a bit of a bad taste.

Rated 12 in the UK, PG-13 in the USA; this is probably because the subject matter is really unsuited to younger children, plus some fairly minor bad language.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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