17 September 2002 | khatcher-2
Some professions are more dangerous than you think
The brakes fail on a dilapidated old bus full of schoolkids, forcing the driver to crash it, fortunately without any injuries to anyone - but the driver is held to account.
On a mountain hike a fourteen year old dare-devil falls down a small cliff and breaks a knee - the group's guide is held to account.
Far-fetched? No: these things have happened to me in my working life. And when I think of all the unforeseen complications which befall surgeons carrying out risky operations on their patients, for example, one can easily see that many people are in jobs where when something goes wrong, he or she can frequently become the scapegoat.
In `Midwives' Sissy Spacek plays out the part of a midwife who has the bad luck of having the young mother dying as she is trying to bring a baby into this world. Ms. Spacek is convincing, as much so as in any other of her films I have seen her in. She has come a long way since `Carrie' when she was just 27 years old, or her good interpretation in `Missing' exactly 20 years ago. In `Midwives' we see a mature Ms. Spacek proving she is a real actress, as this is indeed a difficult part, requiring much attention so as to make her rôle of midwife be realistic. How fortunate she was to have a very understanding and clear-headed fourteen year old daughter! Usually girls at such an age (in or out of films) are rather selfish bad-mannered little dears ...
Without being anything brilliant, `Midwives' is worth a watch, as besides being a thought-provoking story, Sissy Spacek offers an intelligent performance and helps keep the rest of the cast on course.