The Cider House Rules
on the surface is just another one of those glossy Oscar
-bait dramas (& did succeed - Michael Caine
for Supporting Actor and John Irving
for Adapted Screenplay, as well as nominated for five others) with a nice teary moment at the end. That said, I rather enjoyed it.
The film maintains accessibility throughout with a good balance - there are some meaty, heavy themes at work here, but the camera always just shows us what we need to see to understand (think splashes of red for emphasis in a quality painting), and in an age of so much explicit, stylized violence and gore, I can appreciate that. Tobey Maguire
's acting chops prove himself worthy of future roles such as Peter Parker, and the entire star studded cast makes excellent use of the well crafted script. Unafraid of the darker sides of life, but not one to glamorize them either, the frankness is endearing.
Watch for interesting appearances by R&B artist Erykah Badu
, Erik Per Sullivan
(Dewey from Malcolm in the MIddle
), & Macaulay Culkin
's brother Kieran