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Paradise (1991)

Director:
Mary Agnes Donoghue
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Drama
NORWAY TITLE
Paradise
RUNNING TIME
106 minutes
Producers:
Scott Kroopf
Patrick Palmer
Screenplay:
Mary Agnes Donoghue
Jean Loup Hubert (fra his novel)


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Lily Reed Melanie Griffith
Ben Reed Don Johnson
Willard Young Elijah Wood
Billie Pike Thora Birch
Sally Pike Sheila McCarthy
Rosemary Eve Gordon
Catherine Reston Lee Louise Latham
Darlene Sarah Trigger

 

Review

Adapted from the French Le Grand Chemin, this Mary Agnes Donoughe-film is one of those hidden treasures that has received far less acclaim than it should have. It is an incredibly poignant and sincere film about the simple things in life. The direction by Donoughe is wonderful. She's not afraid to cherish her beautiful images, but at the same time she keeps them unpretentious. Although there are trivial moments in the film, Paradise is filled with exceptional scenes and segments - most of them involving the sensational Elijah Wood. It is when Wood and the almost equally brilliant Thora Birch are having their one-on-one sessions that Paradise is at its most genuine (the scene when the two are swimming is singular), but the Wood/Johnson-relation is also touching. Only Melanie Griffith struggles (I wonder why she can't speak like a normal person), but even her performance is elevated by Wood's presence. At its best Paradise is a both painfully and wonderfully absorbing drama.

Re-review: Copyright 27.12.2004 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright 3
.5.1996 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
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