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Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,325 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (DVD) (WS)

In this classic Southern tale of hilarious sadness set in a sleepy Louisiana parish, a group of lifelong friends stages a rather unorthodox intervention to help an acclaimed young playwright unravel the truth about her complicated, eccentric mother, find forgiveness and acceptance--and to let go of a painful past. Prominent young playwright Sidda Lee Walker lives in New York City, a long way from her Louisiana hometown and her highly dramatic and eccentric mother, Vivi. When a Time magazine profile on Sidda implies that Vivi was not a good mother, Vivi is outraged, and mother and daughter get into an argument that threatens their relationship and Sidda's tenuous wedding plans.

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sandra Bullock, Ellen McRae, Fionnula Flanagan, James Garner, Ashley Judd
  • Directors: Callie Khouri
  • Producers: Bette Midler, Bonnie Bruckheimer, Hunt Lowry, Mary McLaglen, E.K. Gaylord II
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,325 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002NZK5RS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,554 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you read "Little Altars Everywhere", you will be glad to know that "Divine Secrets" takes a look at the life of Siddalee Walker from the distance of heavily analyzed adulthood. "Divine Secrets" focuses once again on Siddalee, but this time she is a 40-year old successful stage director who is taking some time out from her career and her love life to put to rest some old ghosts.
After having humiliated her mother in national print (a New York Times reporter calls Viviane Walker "a tap dancing child abuser"), Siddalee is gifted with her mother's scrapbook, which, in Vivane Walker's typically outrageous style, has been named "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood". Viviane sends Siddalee this volume of personal mementos in an effort to have Siddalee understand her better without having to put any personal effort into the process.
Inside this scrapbook, Siddalee discovers bits and pieces of her mother's past - pictures, newspapaer articles, mementos - but she is not granted the entire story surrounding each of these titilating fragments. The reader is able to learn, through Viviane's own memory, all of the interesting details that Siddalee doesn't get to know.
This, I feel, is the greatest weekness in "Divine Secrets". The reader gets to see Viviane as a child and an adolescent, living in a home where she is abused by her father and openly detested by her mother. We learn about the death in WWII of Viviane's first and only love and the stresses put on her by having four stair-step children and an absentee husband. Siddalee, however, is not privy to any of this information.
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Format: Paperback
I had resisted this book for a long time because the title seemed silly. But I'd heard from several people that it was a good book, and I was ready to read what I thought might be light and frothy entertainment. I was immediately caught up in the story, however, and soon discovered that this was not a light book at all.
Sidda, who was brought up in Louisiana is, at age 40, is a successful theatrical director who has a falling out with her mother, Vivi, when she reveals too much of her childhood in a New York Times interview and her mother is depicted in print as a "tap dancing child abuser". Sidda is so deeply upset by this that she postpones her upcoming wedding and goes off to an island off the coast of Seattle to be alone. Her mother sends her a copy of a scrapbook entitled "The Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" and gradually Sidda discovers more and more about her mother as well as about herself.
The four women who call themselves the Ya Yas developed their friendship as children in the 1930s and have been friends ever since. They've kept their friendship through their teenage years in the early forties, their marriages and motherhood in the 50s and have continued their friendship right up to the present, being there for each other through a lifetime of living.
The story is really Vivi's story though, and the place of the three friends in this novel is of important, but yet supporting players. With ultimate skill, the author brings the reader into the deep south. There's humidity and sweet smelling flowers; there's love and cruelty; there's the inequality of the racial relationships, there's funny and poignant stories; there's deep characterization. And, most of all there is friendship between the Ya Yas.
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Format: DVD
After all the hype and comparisons to 'Steel Magnolias', 'Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood', sadly, did not do much box office, which was a shame, as it is a more intimate, realistic vision of women and life-long friendships than the glossier 'Magnolias'.
Four girl friends in Louisiana create a secret sisterhood in 1937, swearing eternal devotion to each other, and they remain best friends through all the triumphs and tragedies in their lives. When the daughter of one of them (Sandra Bullock), a successful playright, has an interview with Time magazine in which she blasts her mother's impact on her life, the mother (Ellen Burstyn, who is superb!) goes ballistic, cutting the daughter out of her life, totally. Into this maelstrom charges the other members of the Sisterhood, kidnapping Bullock, and attempting to make things right!
The film then jumps back and forth in time, with Ashley Judd (who gives an Oscar-worthy performance) playing the younger Burstyn. She has a lot of happy adventures with her Ya-Ya sisters, but also has to deal with racism, a jealous religious zealot of a mother, an overly loving father (David Rasche, breaking free of his usual comic roles), a true love who dies in WWII, and a family with a guy she 'settles' for (played, in present day, by the wonderful James Garner). There is also a dark secret that is the core of the mother/daughter alienation, which must be dealt with in order for the rift between Bullock and Burstyn to heal (No, I will NOT give it away!)
If you do the math about the years covered, you realize the present-day story SHOULD be taking place in the early nineties, at the latest, but this doesn't hurt the overall effectiveness of the picture.
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