Sordid Lives
SHADOWS AWARD: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Beth Grant
SHADOWS MUST SEE MUST-SEE

White trash. Three women (Burke, Bedelia and Grant) cope with the death of someone close to them in very different ways.
dir-scr Del Shores
with Bonnie Bedelia, Kirk Geiger, Delta Burke, Beth Grant, Ann Walker, Beau Bridges, Olivia Newton-John, Leslie Jordan, Rosemary Alexander, Sarah Hunley, Earl Houston Bullock
release US 1.Feb.01; UK 17.Nov.08 dvd
00/US 1h51 4 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
Hilariously trashy and deeply thought-provoking, often at the same time, this is a gem of a film worth seeking out to watch ... in a cinema with a big, raucous audience!

We're in Jerry Springer country, rural Texas on the day of Peggy's funeral as her family members (daughters Bedelia and Walker, sister Grant) engage in a bit of self-absorbed finger-pointing to cope with their grief. Most of the accusations centre on the adulterous GW (Bridges) and his none-too-pleased wife (Burke). Meanwhile in California, Peggy's grandson (Geiger) is struggling to cope with his sexuality, while her son (Jordan) was institutionalised 23 years ago for his.

The remarkable ensemble cast pulls out all the stops, delivering performances that work as both broad farce and intimate drama. These are real people, flesh and blood, struggling with their opinions, feelings and faith in authentic, difficult ways. Shores juggles all the characters and situations perfectly--even Newton-John's trashy bar singer with the voice (literally) of an angel fits right in. And alongside the garish humour, the film finds emotional resonance as it wrestles with aspects of identity, death and family.

[15 strong themes and situations, language, nudity] 6.Nov.00 sliff

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READER REVIEWS

Lindsey, Palm Springs: "First time I have gone to a movie twice in one week. Thanks for the laughs, Sordid Lives. I haven't seen my family in years, until now. Yep, you know why. Love ya!" (12.Nov.01)

© 2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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