Kate Guinzburg

Kate Guinzburg

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Carolina Review


Weak
Just by looking at the cover you'll be able to figure out a fair amount of the content of Carolina. Sure, there will be a love triangle forming its central struggle, and a kindly old grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) will be on hand to dispense wisdom to young Carolina (Julia Stiles).

But will you guess that a major subplot will blatantly (and explicitly) rip off The Rocking Horse Winner? Or that MacLaine will spew a monologue about rubbing manure on her breasts? Wow. How could you?

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Original Sin Review


Unbearable
Depending on who you ask, the original sin was either the eating of the apple, the act of disobedience against God, or the act of betrayal. But in case you didn't know this, don't bother remembering it... the words "original sin" never come up in the movie of the same name, let alone the concept of it. The closest the film even gets to Catholicism is in its narrative (the story is told by Angelina Jolie to her priest while on death row in Cuba, circa 1900).

Regardless of its senseless title, Original Sin does actually have a plot (albeit one of the most mangled acts of screenwriting since The Art of War, based on the book Waltz Across Darkness). Boy (Antionio Banderas) places personal ad sometime around 1900, searching for a wife. Since this is a century ago, we narrowly dodge a remake of Green Card, only to find that the Girl (Jolie) faked her photo and is actually beautiful. Skipping a few moderately useless sex scenes (getting the question out of the way, yes, we get to see Angelina Jolie's breasts again), the Girl turns out to be a con artist, swindles Boy for his money, and heads for the hills.

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A Thousand Acres Review


Terrible
This adaptation (read: poor imitation) of Shakespeare's King Lear sports Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange, and Jennifer Jason Leigh as the three twisted sisters of ailing king Jason Robards -- only this time the kind is a farmer with a whopping 1000 acres. Parcelling the property becomes a headache thanks to Leigh's ungrateful bitch of a daughter, and soon enough a legal battle ensues... not to mention accusations of abuse, alcoholism, and every other hot-button sin you could name. No one is good in this movie. Everyone plays a variation on the annoying sad sack -- Pfeiffer probably being the worst of all. I don't know anything to redeem the movie except for an understated performance from Leigh -- unless you're into masochism. Avoid.
Kate Guinzburg

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