Cast: Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Trevor Fuller, Michael Caine, Delroy Lindo
Directed by Lasse Hallstrom
CIDER HOUSE RULES takes place in an orphanage in Maine in the 40s. This relates the tell of one of the orphan boys, Homer, who was never adopted and instead assists the director, Dr. Larch, in delivering babies. Homer has a mind of his own, and won't perform the then illegal abortions, and soon wants to leave the orphanage and see the world he's never seen. He befriends a young couple who travel to the orphanage to abort an unwanted pregnancy, and leaves to become an applepicker and see what's out there.
Of course, it's based on John Irving's novel of
the same name, and being that the Academy Award-winning screenplay is adapted
by Irving himself means that a faithful adaptation is presented.
It's a well-crafted film, with very good performances and solid direction
by Hallstrom. It's also most notable for Caine's best performance
in at least two decades, and may put his once stellar career back on track
(I won't go so far as to say he deserved his Oscar, as I felt Tom Cruise's
gut-wrenching performance in MAGNOLIA edged him out). Soul diva Erykah
Badu impresses with her first major role, and Tobey Maguire is always interesting
to watch. The total impact isn't always as stong as it could be given
the subject matter of abortion and incest, but it's still compelling stuff
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