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Review Wanted: "Passion Fish"

Old 04-06-00, 02:50 PM
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Opinions of both the movie and DVD would be appreciated.

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Old 04-06-00, 03:40 PM
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Passion Fish is very good. For those who don't know it's the story of a soap actress (Mary McDonell) who moves back to her childhood home in cajun country Louisiana to hide from the world following a debilitating accident. Since she is in a wheelchair and is paralyzed from the waist down she requires constant attention. Early in the film she goes through a series of nurses, tossing each one away like tissue paper. Her sarcastic and bitter demeanor is wither too much for them or their overly social behaviour is too much for her. Finally she winds up with Alfre Woodard, a quite, introverted nurse who seems to be hiding from a past of her own. Not much else happens in the film in terms of plotting. However, the progression of the relationship between these two women is real and natural. They struggle with each other but eventually learn to respect one another. The combination of the fine performances by both actresses and John Sayles' extraordinarily sensitive writing and direction really makes this a rare film that, while emotional, never feels fake and overly-melodramatic.

The DVD has very few features (in fact, I'm not sure that it has any) but the transfer seems crisp, remaingin true to the beautiful, subtle cinematography, and the sound, although not exactly a work-out for your system, is quite good. I don't have it in front of me and can't give you the specs, but the film has been done justice, I believe.

A John Sayles commentary would have been nice, but then he has been underrepresented on DVD so far (Lone Star is nice, but again, nearly no extras, Matewan isn't even in widescreen, and I haven't seen Limbo). Where are Secret of Roan Inish, City of Hope, Eight Men Out, and most of all The Brother From Another Planet?

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