Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dear Jodie - B is for The Bridges of Madison County

Dear Jodie,

The Bridges of Madison County is one of those rare examples of a movie that, in my view, far exceeded the quality of the book from whence it came. By miles!

I read the book.  All of it.  Had it not been ridiculously short, I would not have finished, because the writing did not do it for me.  But I’m curious as to your take on the movie.

Despite some issues, I loved it, loved it, loved it!  Clint Eastwood directed and starred with Meryl Streep in this amazing love story.

What is it, Jodie, about the charms of the “Big Secret?” Because for me that’s what made this movie so special.  Here is a woman who kept the best four days of her life from all she loved, because to reveal it at the time would have hurt them unspeakably.

And what about those days?  Sensual, erotic, connecting more closely to a stranger than she could connect with her own family.  I completely melted into all of it!

Oh, if I could have something like that happen to me!

The wild card here is that the husband was a good man, decent, caring, though stoic and unexciting.  Her kids were great kids.  She had no external reason to fall into this scene except . . .

The farm was not for her. She knew it, yet allowed herself to be trapped in a life that sapped strength from her every day she stayed in it.

I have been critical of Meryl Streep, but I think she shined in this one.  I bought the loneliness, and the eroticism.  The accent was lovely!  I completely bought the internal conflict that led us to wonder whether she would open that car door and run to Robert in the rain.

Cudos to Clint Eastwood both as a director and as an actor, although when he was taking pictures of the bridges he did not stand in any way like the photographers I know.  He looked like a tourist trying to look like a pro.

But what of that?

I also didn’t buy the adult kids. I didn’t see the underlying grief from having lost their mother. What I came away with was “Mom’s gone.  We’ve got the loot.  Whoa, lookee here what Mom did.  Let’s get drunk.”  I get that deaths don’t have to be gloom and doom.  I get that we can have wonderful, even gut-laughing funny rememberances in times of death and this helps with the grieving process, but did you see the underlying grief.

If it was there, I sure as hell missed it.

Still, because of Clint and Meryl, I give this a solid 9 out of 10.  The book gets 1 out of 10.

Read Jodie's review here!

1 comment:

  1. Wow Rocky, so glad I didn't read the book!


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