An Unremarkable Life (1989)

PG   |    |  Drama



6.5/10
109

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10 January 2008 | wisewebwoman
7
| A refreshing change
This film breaks some new ground in that it depicts a story of older people, 2 elderly sisters living together on a limited income, one more dependent on the other, in a very believable way. And realistically, the more dependent one is the bitterest - finding fault with the multi-cultural world around her, sometimes to the point of outright racism, and particularly in the control she exerts on her sister.

Patricia Neal (as Frances) and Shelley Winters (as Evelyn) are remarkable in their portrayal of the sisters, moving from a jokiness to tactile affection and to outright hostility at times. Very realistic. Evelyn, the controlling sister, is not portrayed in black and white, we see her fears, we see what drives her behaviour and can sympathize.

The plot turns on the fact that Frances meets a man, a mechanic, Max, played by Mako. Mako just about steals the movie from under the two great old stars and injects a terrific tension in his scenes with Shelley. Shelley Winters is remarkable in her restrained performance here. What a great actress.

The only weakness I saw was in the performance of Neal. I think it may have been affected by her stroke. But not enough to hinder my absorption.

This movie is slow, but lovely. Unremarkable in many ways but a true slice of life, carefully unwound, with no easy solution. Like life itself. Recommended. 7 out of 10.

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