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Bastard Out of Carolina (1996)

Cast: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ron Eldard, Jena Malone, more...
Director: Anjelica Huston
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Studio: Fox Lorber
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 101 min.
Languages: English
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Accomplished actress Anjelica Huston, daughter of John Huston, made her directorial debut with this absorbing, often wrenching story of child abuse in the 1950s American South. Based on a novel by Dorothy Allison, the film (narrated by Laura Dern) tells the tale of Bone (Jena Malone), a poor white girl so named because she was born right after her mother survived a terrifying car crash. While Bone is still a small child, her single mother, Anney (Jennifer Jason Leigh), meets and marries the sweet Lyle (Dermot Mulroney), and the two add another daughter to the family before Lyle dies in an auto accident. Anney is next courted by the less good-natured Glen (Ron Eldard), who takes out his rage on Bone both physically and sexually, as Bone becomes even more disillusioned at her mother's inability to get away from her monstrous husband. Set in South Carolina in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Bastard Out Of Carolina touches on many aspects of life, family, and hardship amidst the poor white of the South. TNT owner Ted Turner refused to air the film, ostensibly because of its difficult subject matter, but the film goes out of its way to handle its material with as little exploitation as possible. ~ Don Kaye, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

oh no by ninjaweapon November 23, 2003 - 5:26 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
how can so many talented people come together and make such an embarrassing movie? i have a hunch that huston padded it with disturbing sexual violence to counter the unbelievably sappy and cliched story. without the violence it would slip right into titanic/gump territory.

the only reason i gave it any stars was because of some of the acting. i'm sure many of the actors were biting their tongues as they were forced to deliver the goods, but they did it. the little girl who suffers all the violence is damn good. at one point the abusive father lifts her and swings her around by her head. it's a medium shot with no cuts. i am surprised the girl's parents didn't sue the production company; it's pretty rough stuff. i give a nod to huston for getting it made. sadly, it's just too dumb for a decent rating.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.66)
35 Votes
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