Hannah Free Reviews
I found this movie to be very sweet and touching, with absolutely believable love scenes in it.
It is a wonderful movie that needs to be seen.
This premise sounds endlessly corny, but with a powerful play behind it this movie turns into a stylish drama about everyday life. Through flashback sequences and experimental scenes the relationship of the two quite different women gets illuminated in a way that isn't sappy or overly romantic. Allen has adapted the script herself, and her scenes show some true literary talent.
The only thing that prevents ‚??Hannah Free‚?? from being completely excellent is the production, most notably the cinematography. The film is lit like a daytime soap opera, and when the microscopic budget is apparent and the story is already flirting with the sentimental this really put me off. The movie holds itself together commendably well, but the clich√©d look does have a slightly crippling effect. Still, this one gets very near to perfection, which is more than enough for me to recommend it warmly.
It took years for the two women to come to terms with their mutual grand passion, with Rachel as traditional a woman as Hannah has always been unconventional. Rachel even married for appearance's sake, becoming a young widow with twins, but now Rachel (Maureen Gallagher), having suffered a severe stroke, lies in a coma in a room not far from Hannah's. Rachel's daughter Marge (Taylor Miller), a dim, homophobic, religious conservative, refuses to let Hannah visit her mother on the grounds that it would upset Rachel -- nevermind that she is unconscious.
Then Rachel's great-granddaughter Greta (Jacqui Jackson) pays a visit, setting in motion Hannah and Rachel's love story, which unfolds in flashbacks. It is a story, beautifully told, of love enduring the obstacles that have always challenged gay people -- and still do. Now Hannah faces her greatest challenge -- simply in getting to bid her lover goodbye.
Claudia Allen has skillfully adapted her play to the screen, opening it up without destroying its intimacy and cohesiveness. Wendy Jo Carlton has directed "Hannah Free" with a simplicity and cinematic fluidity that serves Allen's often tart, amusing dialogue well. The exceptional cast includes Kelli Strickland as the younger Hannah and Ann Hagemann as the younger Rachel. The film goes for an ending scene that would surely smack of the improbable were it not so well-played by Gless, Jackson and especially Miller -- but in the end, the movie belongs to Sharon Gless.
-- Kevin Thomas LA TIMES
Definitely worth seeing!