• U.S.

Cinema: Rushes Mrs. Soffel

1 minute read

Talk about meeting cute. The handsome young man (Mel Gibson) bolts from his cell on Pittsburgh’s death row and lands smack on top of the warden’s beautiful wife (Diane Keaton). Ron Nyswaner’s script is based on fact–a 1901 jailbreak masterminded by the young matriarch who had fallen in love with one of the convicts–but the tone is pure High Hollywood elegiac. This is revolution as amour fou, which Diane Keaton knows something about from her turns as Louise Bryant in Reds and the frazzled Mata Hari in The Little Drummer Girl. Keaton and Australian Director Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career) might seem to make a good protofeminist match, but the results are dour and disappointing. The film’s strongest suit–Russell Boyd’s sepulchrally seductive cinematography–ironicall y seals its doom. Mrs. Soffel (rhymes with woeful) is Bonnie and Clyde with the emotional lights turned down, Tristan und Isolde without the saving soaring music.

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