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Jupiter's Wife (1994)

Cast: Katrina Pendleton, Maggie Cogan
Director: Michel Negroponte, Michel Negroponte
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Studio: New Video Group
Genre: Documentary, Biographies, Political & Social Issues
Running Time: 78 min.
Languages: English
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A homeless woman living in Central Park is examined in this documentary. Maggie is a good-humored woman in her '40s. She lives in Central park with 6 dogs and a huge backpack. It is in the park that filmmaker Miche Negroponte met her and gradually became her friend. Outwardly she seems normal enough. She is witty, gentle, and intelligent. She claims to be the daughter of actor Robert Ryan and has six children. She also claims to receive radio reports from her husband Jupiter, the Greek god. In trying to understand what she means, Negroponte spent two years following her and interviewing her. The film, which also looks into her past is the result. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A for Maggie, but a D for Negroponte by Misshaped July 4, 2004 - 9:28 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
This documentary was the Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and has been dubbed "one of the 10 best films of the year" by the San Francisco Chronicle. I'm a little surprised by that since I wasn't terribly impressed by this film. Sure, it's incredible that it was made for around $500, but its quite slow and meanders through the life of an interesting subject. Negroponte is a fairly dull narrator, who seems to have never encountered a homeless person before. It's almost a shock to him that somebody who is homeless can be so fascinating. In some ways, he seemed to focus on the more bizarre things about Maggie and tried to interpret the things she said in order to come up with a much more grandious conclusion about her character. I think you've got to really like Maggie and her story a lot (which I actually did), or find Negroponte fascinating (which I didn't) to keep your interest. At times he shows his own home movies/photos of his family, which I found distracting. Also, the extras were just outtakes which didn't add much to the story. I'm still clinging to hope though that W.I.S.O.R (2001) or Children Underground (2001) are better examples of his work.

A lot of reviews indicate that this film will "change the way you look at homeless people". I guess that may be true if you've never taken the time or had the opportunity to actually talk to somebody who is homeless. Then again, not all homeless people believe they are the spouse of the god Jupiter and are as lucid as Maggie is. I suggest you volunteer or work at a homeless shelter like I did for a couple of years. That will definitely change the way you look at homeless people.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.42)
24 Votes
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