|Miramax Films | Release Date: December 10, 1999||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
A deliberately old-fashioned picture that succeeds in nearly everything it tries to do.
The Cider House Rules is about many things -- chance, passivity, free will and self-invention -- but ultimately it comes back to Larch, who emerges as a toweringly noble figure even in his weakest moments.
Hallström, a past master at cockeyed coming-of-age chronicles ("My Life as a Dog," "What's Eating Gilbert Grape"), has a near-genius for unpatronizing tolerance, and for seeing beauty in the world and nature and seasons without turning them into postcards.
This is a warm, accessible story with delightful characters and a nice metaphor about following your own rules.
What remains of the book's psychological underpinnings -- there are enough here to leave a permanent dent in the couch of any Freud-loving shrink
He (Irving) has been able to capture the quirky tone of the popular novel.
Has many affecting moments, but you may tire of the tugging on your heart strings.
A major disappointment, The Cider House Rules pales by comparison with the gutsier, more full-bodied adaptation of Irving's "The World According to Garp."
Feels like the shell of a wonderful story.
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