Jane Fonda is recently widowed, and works at a baked good factory. Robert De Niro is thecafeteria cook. He is illiterate, and loses his job when this is discovered. He turns to Fonda,asking her to teach him to read. Slowly, tentatively, romance blossoms.
Plenty of gritty realism in the first half of the film, and the portrayal of the hard lives thesepeople face is pretty unsparing. In this bleak landscape, their relationship becomes a real beaconof hope. One can onl… imagine what someone like Mike Leigh would have done with similarmaterial. But in the last reel the film veers into total fairy tale, becoming a celebration of theAmerican Dream as implausible as the first three-quarters were real. The resolution is also prettyretrograde with respect to Fonda’s character. Decent work until the conclusion, though.
The sound is 2.0, but it does its work well. The music is effective, and the environment isquite nicely created (most notable the sounds of street traffic and inside the factory itself). Thereare some sound effects that are a bit too loud (as when Fonda tears out a newspaper ad), but theleft-right placement of the sounds is solid.
The picture arrives in both 1.33:1 fullscreen and 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The coloursare a bit too orange (especially when it comes to flesh tones), but the contrasts are good. thereis no grain, but the edges need work. Here we have to deal with both softness, green outlines,and noticeable edge enhancement.
You’ve got your trailer, and that’s it.
A pleasant enough movie, but the fact that it loses the courage of its convictions is adisappointment.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer