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In Resurrection, an unforgettable story of love and devotion, Ellen Burstyn delivers a tour-de-force performance as a woman who experiences clinical death and returns to life with the amazing ability to heal others. Attributing her powers to human love rather than divine intervention, she begins to aid the residents of her childhood town. After healing a zealous young farmer (Sam Shepard), she starts to fall in love with him. As their affair develops, he tries to make her confess that her powers come from God and not from within. Her refusal leads to a violent climax that will change the healer and all who touch her forever.
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The acting is amazing; the score is wonderful; and it is one of the most life-affirming films I have ever seen.
Now - 2 things (POSSIBLY MINOR SPOILERS): This has one of the most incredible, touching, warm and just beautiful endings I have ever seen in a film. Edna Mae's final "Thank you" is so simple and yet so powerful in defining her character.
And finally, one question (and this may be something someone who hasn't seen the film may want to skip): Did it occur to anyone else that maybe, just maybe, Esco Brown passes this gift onto Edna Mae when he puts his hand on her head just as they about to leave his "Last Chance" gas station? I know it's mostly attributed to her near death experience, but that gesture has always stuck with me and as many times as I've watched this film, I can't seem to make up my mind one way or the other. Ultimately it's not that important, but it is just one example of how this film can raise more questions than it answers. And that's a good thing in my opinion.
Put a box of tissues next to you, and please watch this film. It's amazing.
This is a wonderful, low-key movie with tremendous acting from everyone. The plot involves a woman who has a near-death experience, and finds that she has developed healing abilities. She first heals herself, and then others in her community. When she saves the life of, then becomes involved with, the son of a Bible-thumping conservative preacher, things take a turn toward the dark. But don't worry -- there's a lovely, unexpected, and perfect ending.
This is a sweet, gentle, very human movie about the power of love and healing. I'd recommend it to everyone but the most hardened cynics and most right-wing Christians.
I suggest fans of this film join me in contacting The Criterion Collection (there's a place on their website to email suggestions for new titles) and request that they do a proper remastered dvd of this fine movie. They could ask Ellen Burstyn for the commentary, since the director Daniel Petrie is dead. Ms Burstyn included some information on the making of Resurrection in her autobigraphy: on working with the legendary Eva Le Galienne (Grandma),who at first acted too broadly for film, though in a style well-suited to the stage. And fascinating stuff about the scene where Edna Mae flicks a fly off her toe and realizes she can move her paralyzed legs. They employed a fly wrangler, who brought in I think it was 40 frozen flies; and they were down to the last one or two before they were able to get the shot they wanted.
Hopefully if Criterion gets enough requests, they will consider it. Thanks