Thursday, September 11, 2008

Two Weeks

Two-time Acadeny Award winner Sally Field delivers a "flawless performance" (TV Guide's Movie Guide) in this bittersweet dramatic comedy about one family's determination to stay together till the very end.

Four grown siblings return home to their terminally ill mother's house for what they think are her final few days. When she hangs on, they find themselves stuck uner the same roof for two difficult weeks. But as the children come to terms with their grief, they discover laughter in the midst of sorrow, love in the face of anger, and an opportunity to gain new perspective of their own lives.

The above summary is from the back of the DVD case. It's all I had to go on when I noticed the movie in the "dump bin" ($5 rack) at a local store. I've always like Sally Field. From TV's Gidget and The Flying Nun to Places in the Heart, Norma Rae (both Oscar winners for Best Actress), Sybil and countless others, she has never failed to give an outstanding performance. One of her most memorable scenes was in Steel Magnolias where her character M'Lynn strikes out against the injustice of her daughter's death.

I should have known this movie would have me in tears. The story is interspersed with scenes of Keith, played by Ben Chaplin, ( Sam Kennedy - Murder by Numbers and Brian - The Truth About Cats & Dogs) video taping interviews with his mother (Sally Field), prior to the arrival of hospice. We get a peek into a mother's love for her children, her hopes for them, her disappointments in even herself. One scene, when her best friend since childhood comes to visit was especially touching and emotional.

But the movie also has touches of comedy, lightening the mood as the siblings work through their mother's coming death and their own lives. Julianne Nicholson as Emily (Detective Megan Wheeler - "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and Christina Finn - "Conviction"), Tom Cavanagh as Barry (How to Eat Fried Worms - Dad and "Scrubs" - Dan Dorian), and Glenn Howerton as Matthew ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" - Dennis Reynolds (also writer, producer), Must Love Dogs - Michael, "ER" - Dr. Nick Cooper, and "That '80's Show" - Corey Howard) were all superb as the sons and daughter.

I won't say that Two Weeks is a must see for everyone. There are some who may not handle the subject well. But for me, it was an outstanding movie that made me cry and laugh, but also made me think about end of life issues. It was a wonderful, thoughtful movie, and I'm glad I bought it and watched it.

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