Movie review: "Ethan Frome" (1993)
Liam Neeson, Patricia Arquette, Joan Allen
Director: John Madden
1 hr 39 mins
Based on the novel, Ethan Frome (1911), by Edith Wharton.
I watched the movie, then I read the book, then I watched the movie again (and again), it's easier than reading the book again, but I'm going to do that too.
For my taste, the book and the movie are interchangeable. Knowing the ending doesn't reduce the dreadful intensity of this story that gets ever more sad from beginning to end.
The love story breaks through the arid shell of real life—oh, so briefly….Ethan (Neeson) wants more, Mattie (Arquette) wants more, the viewer wants more….
Every other character in the story seems to, well, not necessarily "want" less, but to be all too righteously satisfied with less.
Except for a brief whirl of a dance scene, there are no smiles on the faces of any of the other characters who live dried up lives, and disdain the spark of love and life in Ethan and Mattie.
Doubtless, the town folk see a pitiless moral lesson in the damaged life of Ethan Frome and the love he must keep stuffed inside him.
I see a man and a woman who share forbidden love, but don't know what to do about it, and grotesquely fail to snuff it out.
Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2016 All rights reserved.