Most helpful positive review
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 1999
I love the steely, snowy look of this movie, and its bizarre, infinitely compelling love story. Diane Keaton, one of the best screen actresses ever, here portrays a woman who is teetering on madness; that we never really know her state of sanity or Mel Gibson's true intentions only adds to the mystery and desperateness of the story, which by all accounts is true. The warmth of the warden's home, at Christmastime no less, contrasted with the chill of the Pittsburgh snow and the brutality contained within that prison, is remarkably effective. Gillian Armstrong directs like a painter with a brush, and every scene contains a stark beauty. I thought the chemistry between Gibson and Keaton was electric. Mark Isham's spare and original score punctuates the tragedy and isolation in these characters in a very effective way; it is a musical score that never panders or overstates, but quietly does the trick. It is not a classic film, but it does pull you along, and there are plenty of wise choices along the way. If you do not mind taking an emotional journey without an uplift, this is for you.