2 September 2002 | day-of-drama
A magical journey - nothing more, nothing less
The thing with American Quilt, which you will especially notice if you have already read the book, is that it has a lot of contents to deal with in the ranges of a feature film. But Jocelyn Moorehouse obviously wanted to pack all the magic of the small stories of the women into this film, she wanted an entire quilt, full of bits and parts. It is only when understanding this that one can fully appreciate this wonderful piece. Fynn, escaping her partner and the life (marriage) probably unfolding before her, stays with her grandmother and -aunt for the summer. The serious young eccentric, a worried, messed-up hippie girl, confronts her future, her past and her present (dealing with gorgeous Johnathon Schaech chasing her with smiles and strawberries), when she dives into the life- and love stories told to her by the women in her grandmother´s quilting circle. The rest is magic. See the torture of love, the journeys of women and the revelations of grief and new beginnings, see what they hold dear, what will always stay with them, and learn what Fynn eventually comes to terms with: That life is not about perfection, it´s about balance, about putting the small things together, just like a quilt. So, okay, mechanically, Moorhouse really doesn´t have enough time for subtlety, and some characters and developments literally just fly by without any diving in. This will lead people to saying it´s superficial, but it´s not: It´s a journey, like looking out of a car window in another country: Just peeks. Bits. Parts. Parts of a quilt the movie leaves you to put together. If you do, like I did, it´s so moving and inspiring. Warm. The music of THE one-and-only Thomas Newman, the beautiful Winona Ryder, the charismatic ladies, the land, full of secrets and peace. This is what makes it special. Fast, but special. And the final highpoint, a literal "storm" that blows everything apart yet puts everything together, is a cinematic masterpiece, proof of heartfelt, imaginative work of both the writer and the director. They´re actually dreaming an ending together - just take this lovely movie in and stop bickering about reality. If you ask me.