A Thousand Acres
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A feminist farm belt version of William Shakespeare's King Lear, this film is based on Jane Smiley's novel about an aging farmer and his three daughters. The Lear-like farmer, Larry Cook (Jason Robards), decides to divide up his thousand-acre farm among his three daughters, but he disinherits his youngest, Caroline (Jennifer Jason Leigh), an attorney, when she expresses hesitancy. The other sisters, Ginny (Jessica Lange) and Rose (Michelle Pfeiffer), take up the offer, even though they were sexually abused by their father as children. They also take up romantically with the hippie son… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 23%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"From the first frame, a silhouetted barn and windmill at dawn, the images feel prefab, and the all-purpose wistful tinkly piano and sighing strings pin them even more boringly down."
‑ David Edelstein, Slate
"The story is just an empty, manipulative compilation of tragedies and misunderstandings."
‑ Lisa Alspector, Chicago Reader
"All the characters are sharply defined, with Lange and Pfeiffer in fine form, and Robards suitably sour as the grumpy old curmudgeon, but the plot has been watered down until it is little more than a Waltons-styled soap."
‑ , Film4
"... just doesn't work."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"You'll be shocked to discover how much of the novel's richness has been lost."
‑ Susan Tavernetti, Palo Alto Weekly
"Cry, cry, cry. Hug, hug, hug. Yadda, yadda, yadda."
‑ Paul Tatara, CNN.com
"In many ways, it has less in common with Shakespeare's tragedy than with Stephen King's Iowa-set horror story, Children of the Corn."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"Proof that Hollywood no longer knows how to make that former staple, the women's picture."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Fans of Jane Smiley's enthralling Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, A Thousand Acres, will find the movie version disappointing."
‑ Judith Egerton, Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
"Pfeiffer excepted, the filmmakers reap little from the rich soil they have been handed."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"Owing more to the spirit of Oprah than to the Bard, pic serves up an earnest but unconvincing stew of received notions about family dysfunction, awkwardly put across by a script wheezing with melodramatic contrivances."
‑ Godfrey Cheshire, Variety
"Robards' senile paterfamilias is, regrettably, a grave embarrassment."
‑ , Time Out
"It's a pretty powerful analysis of an extended family (where lifelong friends in farming are integral to the well being of a community) shot apart by power and greed."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Great novels are usually adapted into bad movies."
‑ Dragan Antulov, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"It's worth overlooking the movie's weaknesses for the sake of those strong, memorable performances from the stars."
‑ Margaret A. McGurk, Cincinnati Enquirer
More reviews for A Thousand Acres on Rotten Tomatoes

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