A Thousand Acres Reviews
Some critics say that this movie would not be a movie that would be entertaining nor interesting, but this movie amused and interested me in some parts. Sure some parts were not understandable, but I still was amused by the performances by Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and the late Jason Robards. I was amused by the rage of Robards and the great performances from Pfeiffer and Lange. This is not a movie I'll watch over and over, but I'll still recommend this movie.
The true soap opera award, though, has to go to A Thousand Acres in which an angry feminist has decided to tell King Lear from a women-as-victims point of view. Jason Robards is an old Iowa farmer who decides to divide up his land equally among his three daughters (Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Jennifer Jason Leigh). When Robards and Leigh have a falling out, Lange and Pfeiffer get the property, and then Robards changes his mind, and takes them to court to get the land back. This is just one more thing piled onto the sisters' problems of sibling betrayal, cancer, infidelity, spousal abuse, and miscarriage. What the hell, throw in some incest for good measure, too. It's basically an overload of issues that create a film with no thematic focus. Lange's performance is what holds the film together. She is brilliantly understated as the dowdy and repressed farm wife, though her character's transition is too clunky and hard to swallow. Pfeiffer, looking horribly out of place as the middle sister (Did nobody learn from Frankie and Johnny that you just can't make her look dowdy?), is just plain angry and one dimensional, as is Robards. It comes from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Jane Smiley, and of course the classic work of Shakespeare... how could it be this misguided when it had so much going for it?