Written by Ahmed Hamed* (Egyptian Writer and Filmmaker)
From the first moment the movie starts, you get hooked by the charming voice of Sam Shepard, an old decent man who lives with his mentally disturbed and cancer diagnosed wife, artistically portrayed by Meryl Streep, in a beautiful countryside house. The story starts to flow smoothly till the early and surprising suicide of Sam Shepard. It’s the catalyst event that brings the family together to attend the funeral. Three pretty daughters come with their baggage of past hurts and present sufferings.
It starts to get slow from this point; nothing of interest really happens till midway through the movie. All during the first part of the film, you’d think you’re watching the same repetitive and boring family drama. The characters appear shallow with no depth and one starts to ask one’s self: Why would some A-list actors get engaged in such a boring plot and fake performance?
However, if you hold on to your horses long enough, things start to get more interesting. The film literally “explodes” with one shocking event after another start to unfold. Moviegoers will get the chance to take a closer view of how deep the characters are and how messed up their life is.
What I liked most about this film is its classical nature. While seemingly shallow at first, this only proves how brilliant the screen writer is where he hid the darkness of his characters, and revealed them later on through a deeper scope, peeling layer after layer. The film is one of the pure mini plot pieces, discussing the inner needs and complexity of its characters from the darkest point down to the less dark. It’s also important to mention that Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts were nominated in last year’s Oscars for Best Actress and Best Actress in a Supporting Role respectively.