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The Trip to Bountiful Review

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by AVForums Feb 1, 2005 at 12:00 AM

    The Trip to Bountiful Review
    Connie Watts (Geraldine Page, who won the Academy Award for this role) is in the twilight of her life, living with her son and his wife in their cramped apartment in Houston, Texas circa 1940's. Her only wish is to return to Bountiful, her childhood home, but she is stopped by her son who is concerned for her health and her daughter-in-law who insists that they don't have enough money to squander on bus tickets. Eventually she manages to elude everyone and catches a bus to Bountiful and during her journey, she strikes up a conversation with Thelma (Rebecca De Mornay) to whom she recounts the story of her life..

    Going into this movie, I didn't really know what to expect and to say I didn't enjoy this movie would be somewhat of an understatement. I can appreciate the so-called storyline, but there has to be a hook, something of substance underneath it and ultimately some kind of pay off to have made the previous hour and a half mean something, but alas this never happened. I'm not going to suggest that this movie is taxing, either intellectually or emotionally either since nothing REALLY happens - she escapes, she goes to Bountiful and she goes home again. Some may argue I've missed the whole point and that as may be, but in my mind, for a movie to be a drama, something dramatic must occur and here it simply doesn't. This really is the cinematic equivalent of watching paint dry, which did make me wonder if the Oscar was won for this movie, or indeed as has seemed the case, for recognition in past roles. I feel somewhat cynical and heartless by suggesting that in a movie such as this, you have to empathise with the central character but I didn't until she started singing a hymn at which point I really couldn't care what happened to her. Still it was interesting seeing Rebecca De Mornay much younger that in the last movie I saw her in (Identity) and definitely acting better here than in that. I can see how some may like and even appreciate this type of movie, but it just left me cold and indifferent. The nearest parallel I can draw is it reminded me of Lost In Translation insofar as both ultimately had no payoff or any real story as such, the only difference is I actually really liked Lost In Translation