19 January 2014 | suzanneoxford
Disappointing remake of Flowers in the Attic.
I have read the book, Flowers in the Attic. This is a Gothic type mystery where children were locked up in the attic not to be seen. V.C. Andrews was able to convey a dark and sinister atmosphere with Olivia Foxworth being a truly evil grandmother, showing them absolute contempt. Heather Graham portrays their mother, who becomes bored with her life and pursues a man who is supposedly their grandfather's attorney. She stays gone for long periods of time and brings back gifts which are supposed to compensate for her absence. Heather Graham is not right for this part. She comes across as rather vacant and bored, but does not project a sense of evil, which is well demonstrated in the novel. Ellen Burnstyn is an excellent actress and there is no doubt that she can barely tolerate her newly acquired grandchildren. She gives a fantastic performance.
There are gaps in this movie and the viewer is left wondering exactly why the daughter of Foxworth was alienated from her family. Heather does not even come across as a mother, but more like a best friend to her children. But maybe that is the intended effect. She obviously is not interested or does not care about their well-being.
Also in the book VC Andrews was able to convey a sense of anxiety and claustrophobia as the children feel suffocated from living in such close quarters with no freedom. You can feel their sense of doom and emotional deprivation, as they slowly realize that they are in a sort of prison and may never get out. The director, Chow does not give the viewer this feeling of doom. If there is a sense of frustration and anxiety with their surroundings, it is mild discontent compared to what the book shows. Without this psychological drama, it greatly diminishes the sense of doom, which Gothic novels are big on portraying.
I would not watch this movie again. I had a hard time following it and in a way kind of boring.