Thursday, August 16, 2012

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

I absolutely adored this movie. Set in the 1970's, this film tells the story of Alice, a widowed housewife who hits the road with her twelve-year-old son, wanting to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a singer. Her struggle to make ends meet in a male-dominated world is doubled by her debilitating need to always have a man around. 

The script injects just the right amount of humor during tense scenes. Even the theatrical romantic scene at the end has a moment of subtle comic relief delivered by one of Alice's waitress co-workers.

One abusive man after another shatters Alice's false sense of security and ultimately builds her strength. So when Mr. Right, played by Kris Kristofferson, enters her life, her new-found strength and independence come into play as she learns that she can have it all in life: the man and the career. She has also learned how to convey her needs, loud and clear, with respect topping the list.

Martin Scorsese, when taking on the job as director, told the leading lady, Ellen Burstyn, that he knew nothing about women, but he'd like to learn. Burstyn found his modesty refreshing and a stark contrast to the male characters who keep coming into Alice's life.

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