Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
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Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 17-AUG-2004
Media Type: DVD
- Making-of featurette "Second Chances"
Top Customer Reviews
It is almost passe to mourn the passing of the cinema of the 1970s, but this is exactly the sort of movie that was made then but isn't now. It is a penetrating, intensely personal but unceasingly honest portrait of a single mother's struggle to survive. Even though several decades have passed, the story remains timely because it is ultimately the story of humanity, and will have resonance for anyone who has had to leave the familiar and try to make it on their own. Some might dismiss it as an extended metaphor for feminism (which it is) but it is also much more than that--it cuts far deeper, but it is ultimately a very humanistic film.
I can't stop singing this movie's praises. It inspires without being "inspirational". It is not an exultation of the human spirit, but rather the embodiment of it. It never sounds a hollow, false, or obvious note, but rather sticks with utter realism throughout, and as a result is immensely satisfying. I would highly recommend the movie to anyone who appreciates a good drama that doesn't unfold along the expected path.
You can tell that while filming this movie, Ellen Burstyn really WAS Alice Hyatt--her performance is brilliant and flawlessly convincing. Alice's husband Donald (Billy "Green" Bush) dies early in the film in a traffic accident, and it becomes apparent that Alice relied on his financial support while not really being in love him. As we see in the dreamlike opening scene, Alice had aspired to be a singer as a child, a dream that she let fall by the wayside in favor of a typical role as a housewife. With her husband out of the picture, Alice has an 'everything-must-go' type garage sale, sells the house, and hits the road, leaving Socorro, New Mexico with her often annoying, yet sharp 11-year-old son Tommy (Alfred Lutter).
When in Phoenix, a sympathetic bar owner is impressed enough by Alice's audition to hire her to play piano and sing, leading to her meeting of Ben Eberhardt, a character brilliantly portrayed by Harvey Keitel. Ben displays a certain laidback charm, and Alice, who deep down does want to have a man around, falls for him, only to discover that he's already married and prone to fits of violence. Keitel is absolutely devastating in the unforgettable "break in" scene that occurs at the motel Alice and Tommy are staying at, a scene which prompts Alice to get out of town immediately.Read more ›
This is one of the best-acted films I've ever seen. Nothing more needs to be said about Ellen Burstyn here other than she still remains in my mind as one of the luminary, top-drawer actresses in American cinema these past 30+ years. She is flawless here; even breathtaking! And the performance by Alfred Lutter as her son Tommy was one of the finest performances I've seen by a teen/pre-teen. And of course there's Diane Ladd as the infamous Flo, who revels (and excels) in a small meaty role that usually wins Best Supporting Actress Oscars (she unfortunately lost). And Jodie Foster (as butch as can be) is a riot. And Kris Kristofferson gets his part just right, as do Harvey Keitel and the late Vic Tayback as the overbearing but lovable Mel.
I don't know if the perfect acting in this film is a tribute to the actors or to Martin Scorsese (or both). But this film shows that Martin Scorsese is truly a monumental talent. High praise also goes to Robert Getchell for a screenplay that is as hilarious as it is moving. The purity and spirit of this film is obvious and very affecting.
I think this is one of the great films of the 1970s. Be sure to put it on your list if you're a student of cinema. I think it is a landmark film in the human comedy/drama genre.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Heartwarming, amusing, true-to-life, and graced with excellent actors.Published 5 days ago by Catharine S. Dalton
Very 70s movie that I loved. Ellen Burstyn is wonderful as the single mom learning to live again after tragedy, and her and Kris Kristofferson together are a great combination. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Katey
This movie will make you feel like you're in New Mexico. I love this movie, Ellen Burstyn is great.Published 2 months ago by Alan Rayner
Somehow this film captures the nature of the era it was made in. Some may see the film in the light of the feminist movement of the time and what it meant for the working class... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Paul Hanrahan
I certainly remembered this film, from the first time I saw it (at the time of its release) and from several returns since, but somehow I hadn't recalled, until this rental from... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jeff Kaliss
This was the classic and catalysts to the 70'same Alice TV show. A must watch!Published 2 months ago by TAZeisler
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