We have a dream. Someday we'll have a little house and a couple of acres. A place to call home. John Steinbeck's timeless classic comes magnificently to life in this beautiful and stirring film starring Oscar nominees John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich) and Gary Sinise (The Green Mile). Directed by Sinise from an adaptation by two-time Oscar winner Horton Foote, this "flawless miracle of movie-making" (Susan Granger, "American Movie Classics") is a must-see for all audiences. Best friends Lennie (Malkovich) and George (Sinise) find themselves unemployed in Depression-era California, unable to maintain a stable working pattern for long because of Lennie's childlike mentality. When they're hired at the Tyler Ranch, they thrive on the work despite the strict supervision of Curley (Casey Siemaszko), the boss' mean-spirited son. But their world is ripped apart when Curley's unhappy wife (Sherilyn Fenn, Twin Peaks) becomes the innocent victim of Lennie's compassion, forcing George to make a compassionate decision of his own.
A strong argument favors Gary Sinise's 1992 Of Mice and Men
over the classic 1939 version that critics have historically preferred. As adapted by the great playwright-screenwriter Horton Foote, John Steinbeck's Depression-era masterpiece
comes alive with timeless simplicity, more candid in language and behavior, and therefore more honest in its embrace of Steinbeck's beloved pair of lowly dreamers George (Sinise) and his retarded cousin Lennie (John Malkovich). On the lam, they find work as farmhands, joining a close-knit crew and trying to avoid trouble stirred by the dangerously seductive wife (Sherilyn Fenn) of the boss's sadistic son (Casey Siemaszko). There's not a false note or bad performance in the entire film; as veterans of Chicago's acclaimed Steppenwolf Theater, Malkovich and Sinise possess the compassionate chemistry that makes George and Lennie inseparable until the tragic, inevitable final scene. As director, Sinise serves the material with no-frills fidelity; it's easy to believe that Steinbeck would have approved. --Jeff Shannon