Moll Flanders

"Weak"

Moll Flanders Review


Potential taglines for this movie... Moll Flanders: Less than just a bad title. Moll Flanders: Not a shopping center in Belgium. Moll Flanders: Total waste of time.

The last one is the most appropriate for this: a picture which wastes a lot of raw acting talent and pretty photography on a boring, groaning-in-your-seat story which hinges on every cliché in the book.

Moll Flanders is the most recent entry in the disturbing trend of pictures made out of "classic" novels (in this case, Daniel Defoe's). Regular readers pretty much know my opinion of how well this has been done lately, but I'll say it again: these movies haven't been too good.

Robin Wright plays the titular character, a tempestuous woman born to a death row-incarcerated mother in 18th century London. She goes through the wringer during the next two hours, going from nun to maid to whore to respectable artist's wife to a voyage for the New World... none of which is very interesting. Along the way, she is befriended by Hibble (Morgan Freeman, a character wholly invented for the film), a servant to the wicked Lady Blystone (Stockard Channing), mistress of the bordello where Moll plies her whoredom, and the two become friends.

The story is told in flashback -- with Hibble finding Moll's long-lost daughter, Flora (Aisling Corcoran), and telling her the story of her mother. As it turns out, Flora is a truly snotty little kid, and we quickly find out that her mother is a snotty big kid. Neither one carries too much appeal as someone for us to look up to, and I was hoping against hope that every time Flora would try to run away from Hibble, she'd escape. She didn't.

The big problem in Moll Flanders, as mentioned earlier, is its very poor and outdated story line. Maybe the line "I'd had sex many times but never made love" was new 150 years ago... but not any more. Literally every scene is predictable. Seriously. We've seen this all before in a hundred movies -- mostly the kind that play on cable, late-nights. Yawn.

Even worse: the humor in the film plays to the lowest common denominator, alternating between sex jokes and genitalia jokes. Not exactly for the highbrow. And there are lots of scenes with Moll acting drunk, inexplicably insane, or both. That's acting? If I wanted to see that, I could go back to college.

The two saving graces: very lovely cinematography and a clever ending. Enough? Hardly.

Hopefully I've made my point. And judging from the audience's reaction, I wasn't the only one with this opinion. Best comment I heard after the film: "It was better than Spy Hard." I couldn't agree more.

In this scene, Moll watches a much better movie.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 123 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th June 1996

Distributed by: MGM Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Trilogy Entertainment Group, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Spelling Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Moll Flanders, as Hibble, as Mrs. Allworthy, as Fielding, as madame Mazzawatty, as Edna, as le prêtre, as Flora

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.