Film Review: VIRGIN

Like THE SCARLET LETTER, this film depicts a conservative community dealing with an illegitimate pregnancy. Here, however, the condition is the result of drug-induced date rape & the expectant mother, who has no memory of the incident, sincerely believes hers is another child of God. Moss’s perfect performance anchors everything. More on VIRGIN.

Film Review: TULLY

Preposterous plot (involving mysterious hospital bills) weighs down a number of excellent performances in this coming-of-age drama set on a small Nebraska family farm. Burrus is particularly moving as “Tully Senior,” a quiet man who hides his deep emotions under rigidly fixed habits. The sun shines when he finally smiles. More on TULLY.

Film Review: A THOUSAND ACRES

Adaptation based on Jane Smiley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning meditation on KING LEAR. This searing film rages against residents of an Iowa town for averting their eyes while a power-mad tyrant (Robards) abused his daughters. Pfeiffer’s ferocious as the middle daughter. Cast totally against type, it’s the best performance of her career. More on A THOUSAND ACRES.

Film Review: THIRTEEN

Two out-of-control L.A. teens drink & shoplift, then experiment with drugs & sex, while their bewildered parents/guardians, obsessed with problems of their own & watching from the outside, try to figure out what’s “normal” for today’s adolescents. Hunter’s particularly impressive & both girls are strong, but Jan wanted more backstory. More on THIRTEEN.