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?