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Director Kari Skogland takes the reins for a Buffalo Gals Pictures production starring Academy Award-winner Ellen Burstyn as author Margaret Laurence's much lauded heroine Hagar Shipley.
Despite fine performances from Ellen Burstyn and newcomer Christine Horne, The Stone Angel fails to escape formulaic melodrama territory.
A tastefully reverent, fundamentally sincere treatment of Margaret Laurence's 1964 Manitoba-based novel, a staple for Canada's 12th graders.
Writer-director Kari Skogland adapts a beloved Canadian novel gracefully and with plenty of spunk, the same way its main character moves through the world from cradle to grave.
Too much story, too little time
Left me feeling respectfully indifferent, as if I'd been served a nutritious meal that was only fleetingly satisfying.
Although talented newcomer Christine Horne is ideal as the younger Hagar, letting Burstyn play the character at around 50, despite best-effort lighting, was not the wisest choice.
A perfectly respectable, solidly-made film which, beyond the expert performance by the always reliable Ellen Burstyn, has unfortunately little to recommend it.
Despite a terrific lead performance by Ellen Burstyn, Kari Skogland's epic The Stone Angel is a lesson in the perils of trying to cram a hefty Canadian novel that spans decades into a movie running just under two hours.
A film of tightly assembled bits and pieces that don't fit comfortably together despite clever dashes of magical realism connecting past and present.
The only way to enjoy Kari Skogland's epic portrait of a miserable 90-year- woman named Hagar (Ellen Burstyn) is to reframe it as Scary Movie for weepies.
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