Desert Hearts
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Director Donna Deitch makes a strong impression in her first feature film, a simple story of a lesbian love affair, based on Jane Rule's 1964 novel Desert of the Heart. Helen Shaver stars as Vivian Bell, an uptight 35-year-old Columbia University professor who travels to Reno to get a divorce. She arrives in Reno on her way to Frances Parker's (Audra Lindley) ranch, where she is staying to establish six weeks of residency in order to obtain the divorce. Once at the ranch, Vivian catches the fancy of Frances's adopted daughter Cay (Patricia Charbonneau), a casino worker ten years… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The story is not sensationalistic, although its love scene could not be more emotional. It`s a gentle story of someone being brought in from the cold."
‑ Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"Despite many shortcomings--narrow focus, stiff dialogue, and lack of humor--it's worth seeing for historical reasons: this movie herladed a new wave of American gay and lesbian independent films."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A smooth and sensitive film that convincingly circles around the many different kinds of love and lets in light from several angles."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for Desert Hearts on Rotten Tomatoes