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Why does Wade shy away from being a man? Because his definition of a man is his father, an abusive and alcoholic ogre. Wade has found peace in being a parody of an adult. He can hang with kids just shy of high school because he has not permitted himself to grow any older than just-short-of-manhood. He is pathetic, but he is also very amiable. He could live his whole life this way. That is, he could if he hadn't already committed to fatherhood and if the new love of his life didn't expect a bit more.
His new love, Marge, is a small town woman through and through. Perhaps she has been passed around a bit, but she has a good heart. She seems barely content with drifting through life, staying just short of ambitious. Perhaps she'll marry her bear-cub boyfriend Wade and have a family while she can. Perhaps not. She is smarter than Wade, but he is fun and harmless, it seems.
Wade's brother, Rolfe, is the kid who managed to avoid the blows of his father. He is the smart one. Smart enough to stay far enough away from his father, smart enough to distract himself from the ruins of abuse with intellectual pursuits. His intelligence bought him a way out. He is committed only to himself.
Exposing his own aggression, Rolfe plants seeds in Wade that will soon be Wade's undoing.Read more ›
Nick Nolte stars in this dark story of a the lone policeman in a small New Hampshire town investigating a hunting accident. He is divorced and trying and to get custody of his young daughter who rejects his fumbling efforts to be nice to her. James Coburn is excellent as Nick Nolte's father, a brutal and angry old man who typifies a sick machismo which has in turn afflicted his son. His acting is extraordinary as is Nolte's although their styles are different. Noltle is subtle; his facial expressions are controlled and typical of a man who has learned to hold in emotion. Coburn's face, on the other hand, is more deeply expressive; his eyebrows move, his mouth hardens, his eyes glare.
This is the kind of dark, brooding movie that I like. For a brief few hours I enter its world and get completely absorbed in the characters in the way I did with "A thousand Acres" or "The Horse Whisperers". Like these films, there are no easy answers and the conclusion does not wrap up in a neat little Hollywood package that is soon forgotten. Recommended.
We are first aghast, to see Wade disappoint his young daughter — and find himself disappointed in his actions. From that point, there is the continuing spiraling downward into drink, upset, and chaos, as Wade loses control over perceptions of his closest friends, his coworkers, his boss, his lover, and possibly even his family members. He's uncertain whom he's become, as his anger and sadness heightens.
Throughout the film, the audience is given clues, as to the truth of the matters — yet we remain substantially unclear as to whether Wade's version of events is correct. Only the brother's voiceover leads the viewer to some sense of true events.
In the end, the sad truth is that Wade has been more burdened than the audience may have suspected. This truth cost him more than he could bear.
And that is, far too often, the truth of PTSD, without aid to resolution.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an amazingly accurate portrayal of how the damage of acoholism and abuse travels from one generation to the next - how horrors imbedded in the unconcious mind will... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Bohemian1
Great acting and a really important portrail of the effects of addiction on the family. The movie drags but the message is strong.Published 3 months ago by Ednmode
disappointed overall - Nolte did a good job - story need helpPublished 4 months ago by William L. Hendricks
I like Nick Nolte but this movie sucked! My wife quite watching about 20 min in, I endured to the end so I wound never have to watch again! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Melvin Mishey
Not really sure why this picture was so famous back in the day... it has some interesting scenes and performance is very good (very good actors), but plot seems very artificial... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Julio
I love the movie but was not able to watch it due to the hesitation. The movie spent most of the time "thinking" about playing and not actually playing. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Catman
Good drama of family conflict and its impact. Well acted with excellent cast.Published 5 months ago by diva
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