Sunday, June 29, 2014

Goodnight, You Princes of Maine, You Kings of New England

Last night I watched The Cider House Rules, a film directed by Lasse Hallstrom (he directed one of my favorites, Chocolat) that came out in 1999, featuring the talents of Michael Caine (who won an Oscar for the role), Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Delroy Lindo (the cop in Gone in 60 Seconds), and Paul Rudd.  Michael Caine is a doctor at an orphanage in the picturesque town of St. Cloud, Maine, with Tobey Maguire being his oldest and most favorite orphan, apprenticing in his doctoral duties.  One day a handsome young couple arrive to get an abortion and end up giving young Tobey a ride to their hometown and a job on his family's apple orchard.  Paul Rudd goes away to war and Tobey and Charlize have an ill-fated affair that ends with little tension when Paul returns, paralyzed from the waist down.  The film touches on the controversy of abortion and race relations during the WWII-era, but never really makes any kind of statement, which is pretty much how the whole movie goes; things happen, points are lightly touched on, but it's more of just a glimpse of time passing.  The film itself is beautiful, well put together, and has some great acting turns by the stars.  Definitely worth watching, but maybe more if you're in a calmer, I-just-want-to-watch-something-pleasant mood.

(photos collected from blu-raydefinition, vwpro, community.flixter, and hotflick)


  1. I think this movie makes a very strong statement. Terrible things happen and people must make very hard choices. It is an unforgettable film.

  2. I agree, definitely unforgettable. After re-reading my post, describing it as pleasant was a mistake on my part; however, other than Rose and Mr. Rose, no one really goes through any kind of character development, there is no change. Yes, Tobey Maguire decides to perform an abortion but he was never against abortion in general, just against the act of doing one. Nothing ever comes from Tobey and Charlize's affair, and neither one feels bad about it, during or afterwards. No one ever stands up to Michael Caine's lying and cheating the system, or about his addiction, which many characters see and say nothing about. I thought it was an excellent film, but could have expanded on the moral dilemmas and change in character.