Saturday, July 16, 2011

#354: The Bridges of Madison County

1995, TSPDT Rank #858

I'm not exactly sure why Eastwood's grand romantic statement of the '90s is even on the 1,000 Greatest Films, I'll give you my two cents on it nonetheless. It's hard to consider this film's quality without the looming presence of the unbearable and insufferable framing scenes featuring the adult children learning about and coming to terms with their mother's romance with the dashing National Geographic photographer played by Clint Eastwood. To put it politely, the film suffers greatly because of these scenes, but unfortunately these scenes are placed so that they are like the cinematic equivalent to the rotten foundation of an otherwise quite fine and respectable house. As far as the meat of the plot goes, I'll try to explain it in a way that is in keeping with the spirit of the film: the tangible affair lasted five days, the love lasted a lifetime. Meryl Streep's Academy Award-nominated performance as the bored and unfulfilled Italian housewife Francesca constantly skirted the line between hard to tolerate and very good for me, but when all is said and done, and the ashes scattered over the bridge, the film serves as a welcome and fairly well-done portrait of middle-aged romance. If it were not for those terrible framing scenes, I'd have liked to put in a better word for it.

(Rating: 5/10)

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