The Handmaid's Tale - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Handmaid's Tale Reviews

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½ November 13, 2017
I know there's the series out based on the book(which I've never seen), but I knew the gist of the plot coming into this. It's an interesting story that could very well happen with the way current events are going on in this crazy world. This came out in 1990 and almost had a bit of a made for TV movie quality to it, which isn't terrible but it could have obviously looked better. Robert Duvall is in this as well which is a high point. Not a fan of the open ended finale, but I'm sure it's explained in the books.
July 15, 2017
This is a pretty decent adaptation of the book, which is hard to adapt considering the introspective nature of the book. As this is a vision of the future made in the early '90's, some things don't hold up well. However, the idea of a fundamentalist Christian group taking over is, in the current political climate, a very real and scary possibility.
June 6, 2017
read the book cant wait to see the movie
½ December 23, 2016
A very creepy futuristic world where some (and I don't know what the criteria is for picking which) women are enslaved and forced to birth the children of their masters. A weird, creepy world. But, admittedly, strangely enticing a film.
½ March 29, 2016
I could see this actually happening if the extreme right took over.....
February 12, 2016
I have to admit this makes an excellent movie primarily because the material itself is extremely strong. Cinema wise; it manages fine. And the performances are all chilling. It cant be taken as a realy blame when you need a movie to last longer so you can explore this universe deeper , is it? Id think its a quality
½ August 22, 2015
Works Better As A Political View-Point Written In The Original Novel, For Which It Won All It's Awards & Controversy. The Very Left-Field Thinking Doesn't Transfer Well To Screen But The Original Premise Still Has An Eerie Reality..Just Not Very Engaging. "We Are All Here In The Name Of Doodee!!", Ain't That The Tooth. ;-)
½ May 28, 2015
The film itself was great, by being a controversial feminist film. Natasha Richardson was gorgeous. But compared to the novel, much of the important aspects of the dystopian society was missing, and I felt as though the film was not as thrilling. Overall, a nice film to watch when you want to feel a little bit better about your current life.
½ January 21, 2015
I think the movie abridged to much from the book to be good. Many elements that connected you (or disconnected you) from the characters were missing. Not a fair representation of the book at all.
½ October 17, 2014
A weak adaptation of Atwood's famous novel, in addition to a rushed, cliché ending that deviates far from the novel.
July 21, 2013
Margaret Atwoods novel "The Handmaid's Tale" is among the very best I have ever read. In this chillingly plausible dystopian science fiction tale Atwood imagined a future where an unspecified ecological disasters has rendered most of women infertile. A totalitarian state imposing Christian fundamentalism has formed in North America with a reign that has stripped women of their civil rights. Most of them die young in slave labour, and the few remaining fertile ones are forced into sexual slavery for the lead figures of the military junta running the government. They are called "handmaids" and they are raped by their owner as the man's wife keeps them down in a twisted ritual insemination.

In 1990 director Volker Schlöndorff took on the task of bringing Atwood's ingenious vision onto the silver screen. Legendary scribe Harold Pinter adapted the novel into a script which is as much Pinter as it is Atwood. The lead role of Offred, a fertile woman serving as a handmaid finally went to Natasha Richardson.

The novel's strength was in the hauntingly subdued narration of Offred. A woman who used to live as a free woman before the fundamentalist revolution, she had already lost her identity to slavery. The prose showed her subtle awakening from extreme submission, a tale that poignantly illuminated the psychology of oppressed people. Schlöndorff's cinematic storytelling has to overcome the heavy literacy of the source material, which means that the movie is way more direct in its statements. Offred is anything but subdued, Richardson's performance radiates defiance and rage. She is fully aware of the insanity of the society around her, and she remembers her lost freedom vividly. Also, the Offred of the film connects more directly with the characters around her, whereas the novel's protagonist was always alone and detached, observing everything within herself.

Pinter is a master of vocalizations, which always made him such a good choice for adapting fiction. Here he uses his talent to give Offred a strong and unique voice; she says what she only distantly formulated in her mind in Atwood's paragraphs, acts what she only vaguely felt. The script is, as I already stated, very clearly Pinter. Compared with the novel the movie is quite different, even if the story is essentially the same. A tale of resilience is less interesting and scary than the source material's tale of forgotten identity, but as a movie this adaptation works well. When you mix Atwood with Pinter you can't really go wrong, even as completely different as their approaches are.
June 16, 2013
Decent adaptation of the book but I'd like to see someone make another attempt. Faye Dunaway's performance is the standout.
½ March 23, 2013
Vale a pena ler o livro pq, como sempre, algumas partes do filme ficam bem mal-explicadas. No entanto, todas as cenas mais importantes estão representadas e, no geral, achei um bom filme pra época em que foi feito.
½ March 22, 2013
Terrible adaptation of such a great book!
½ February 22, 2013
Intelligent science fiction with good actors.
December 20, 2012
The book is very good.
½ December 11, 2012
Really badly done, this looks like a very low-budget TV movie, at best. This was at the top of my Netflix queue since she died and just came in the mail. I think they have like one copy worldwide.
½ July 14, 2012
Tale leaves you with an uneasy feeling. I love Duvall and he plays his role well. The movie has a futuristic mood about it but seems believable which is what makes it a chilling tale.
½ May 17, 2012
I couldn't tell how I was supposed to feel about the movie, but I was definitely angry the whole time.
April 14, 2012
very interesting movie
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