Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cloudbursts of Grace

On Saturday evening we went to the screening of a film which I'm not sure I would encourage you to see. And yet is was well acted and thought-provoking. The movie was Cloudburst starring two academy award winners, Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker. These seasoned pros are both in virtually every scene and they seem to be relishing their roles as an aging lesbian couple, Dot and Stella. They have been together for more than thirty years and supported each other "in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorry," as the marriage vows say. Dot is the sweetie, blind and tricked into entering a nursing home by an adult granddaughter who is in denial about the nature of their relationship. Stella is foul-mouthed and fierce. She springs Dot from her nursing home incarceration in the dead of night and together they flee from Maine to Nova Scotia with the plan to marry. Along the way a young hitchhiker becomes an important part of their journey.

Why wouldn't I recommend Cloudburst? Well, too often the script meanders across the road and hits the gravel like an elderly driver with poor eyesight. At times it becomes a slapstick road flick which seems better suited as "made-for-TV" than the big screen. It is also too profane and ribald for my tastes. Too much Stella!

Why would I recommend it? Dukakis and Fricker are definitely worth watching. The scenery in Nova Scotia is gorgeous. More importantly, the story explores the nature of love and commitment. It asks us to consider what it means to be a faithful couple in all life brings, regardless of whether we are married or not. The actual cloudburst in which they revel reminds us of the grace we all need to sustain relationships. There are moments in this film which are quite touching, along with the humour.

Have you heard about Cloudburst? Are you now totally confused as to whether you might see it?


Laurie said...

I had the same reaction to the movie, on the one hand parts of it were beautiful to watch and on the other hand parts were terrible. It needed better writing and maybe a different director. I am glad I saw it but came away being disappointed. It could have been so much more.

dmy said...

I have always admired the acting skills of Olympia Dukakis and being from N.S. can appreciate the fantastic scenery you mentioned, so for those two reasons alone will probably see the movie. It certainly sounds gritty and down to earth. After reading your blog I immediately thought of our 35th anniversary and our trip to San Francisco. While we were there the law was passed June 16, 2008 (our anniversary) to grant marriage licenses to same sex couples. The ceremonies were performed on the steps of City Hall the next day, in fact we almost missed our flight home due to the media coverage and traffic jams. It seemed ironic to me that we could take our marriage ceremony for granted and others had to fight so hard and long to have the right to marry and then it only lasted a few months and was overturned again. I will go see this movie and I hope to gain more understanding as to what challenges other "couples" go through in order to make a faithful commitment.

David Mundy said...

Thanks to both of you. It could have been more sums it up Laurie. Agreed dmy, about the sad reality of some being to able to celebrate while others must continue the fight. Eleven states have legalized same-gender marriage. It is a matter of time.