3.5 Stars
Year Released: 1998
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 103 minutes
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Maple and her sisters are helping their crotchety old dad pack up and move out of the family home after their mother’s death. When she finds a trunk containing her mother’s diaries and some old photos, Maple obsessively reaches back in time to better get to know a mother she’d had only a distant, troubled relationship with in life. As she does, she learns a bit more than she really wanted to about her mother’s sexual proclivities and her parents’ complex courtship.
Complicating things is her alcoholic brother Calvin, a devilish ne’er-do-good charmer who continues to desperately reach out to his son in spite of his ex’s restraining order. At the same time Maple’s bonding with her departed mother, she’s also trying to help her father and Calvin come to terms with their own stormy relationship.
Some nice juxtapositions and intermingling of past and present imagery and sound here. It’s not much of a leap to realize that just like father, like son, so too, is Maple a great deal like her late mother. Nora Jacobson’s film is one of those made-for-festival films where you just know tragedy is coming up in the 6th reel. You just don’t know which specific tragedy it will be. Because of that sense of impending doom, I can’t really say that I “enjoyed” this film, but it was well-acted and written full of believable people. A very solid effort.

Posted on October 26, 1998 in Reviews by

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