A Thousand Acres

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"Best friends. Bitter rivals. Sisters."
  • R
  • 1997
  • 1 hr 45 min
  • 6.1  (5,784)

A Thousand Acres is a 1997 movie directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Jane Smiley. The film stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange, and Jennifer Jason Leigh in lead roles. The movie is set in Iowa during the 1970s and revolves around three sisters – Ginny (Pfeiffer), Rose (Lange), and Caroline (Leigh) – who live on a thousand-acre farm with their father, Larry Cook (Jason Robards). The family-owned farm has been passed down from generation to generation and is a source of pride for Larry, who wants to keep it within the family at all costs.

The movie starts with Ginny's narration, where she explains the history of their farm and the relationship between the family members. It becomes clear that Ginny, the eldest daughter, has been living on the farm and working hard to take care of their father and the farm, while Rose left home to marry Pete (Kevin Anderson) and Caroline lives in Des Moines. The tension between the sisters and their father becomes more apparent when Larry announces that he wants to divide the farm among his three daughters, equally.

Soon after Larry's announcement, the sisters' relationships start to unravel. While Ginny is happy with the decision, Rose is angry and resents her father for not giving her the respect she deserves. Caroline, on the other hand, is detached and doesn't care about the farm or her father's wishes. As the women grapple with their respective issues, secrets from the past start to surface, including a history of abuse, adultery, and betrayal. The unraveling of these secrets leads to a courtroom battle that pits Ginny and Rose against Caroline and their father.

The movie is an intense family drama that explores themes of love, betrayal, and forgiveness. It is a portrayal of the complex relationships and emotions that exist within families, even when they are seemingly straightforward. The movie also touches upon the issue of patriarchal dominance and how it can affect familial relationships. The three sisters have different personalities, and their reactions to their father's decision are reflective of their individual struggles. Ginny is a loyal daughter, who has been taking care of her father and farm for years, and is content with the idea of inheriting it. Rose, however, is resentful of her father and feels that he has not given her the respect she deserves. Leigh's Caroline is detached from the situation and is more concerned about her own life.

The cast is simply outstanding. Pfeiffer shines as Ginny, who remains calm in the face of adversity and is the emotional anchor of the family. Lange as Rose is bitter and angry, and her character is a testament to the pain that one can harbour when it is not dealt with. Leigh's Caroline is the outsider of the family, and her emotional detachment is evident on-screen. Their interactions are intense and emotional, and their performances are truly exceptional.

The movie's cinematography is also noteworthy. The shots of the farm's vast and pristine fields will stir feelings of nostalgia in the viewers, even if they have never experienced farm life. The camera work is subtle, creating an atmosphere that complements the emotional tone of the story.

In conclusion, A Thousand Acres is not just another movie about a family feud. It is a deep exploration of the familial relationships and emotions that make us human. The plot is well written, the performances are top-notch, and the cinematography is beautiful. The movie is a striking reminder of the importance of family, forgiveness, and letting go of painful past experiences to move on with life. It is a must-watch for fans of family dramas.

A Thousand Acres
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 45 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.1  (5,784)