Tomorrow Movie Review

The DVD case of 1972'sTomorrow would have you believe that this film features Robert Duvall's "breakthrough performance." Even putting aside The Godfather (1972), THX 1138 (1971), M*A*S*H (1970), and To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), that claim stretches credibility. Frankly, that's because Duvall isn't really very good in the movie.

Neither is Olga Bellin, who plays Sarah Eubanks alongside Duvall's Jackson Fentry. In the film, Sarah turns up on Jackson's farm, pregnant and abandoned by her husband. Jackson takes her into his rickety shack and eventually aids in delivering her baby. Ultimately a loving bond forms.

Alas, not before we've mentally checked out. Duvall's hicktastic accent (stolen by Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade) is way too melancholy for a character that isn't mean to be retarded. Bellin (this was her only motion picture) doesn't fare much better. She's slow and glassy-eyed, drawling her way into Jackson's arms. Maybe that's the point of this work (based fairly loosely on a William Faulkner short story): That sad and slow people belong together.

The film does one thing well, and that's capture a different segment of Depression-era society than we often see in films. We all know the Grapes of Wrath migrant farm workers and the city-dweller shantytowns all too well. Whether or not you care much about how mountain men whethered the economic downturn (answer: didn't change nothin'), you have to admit that Tomorrow at least offers a unique spin on the subject.

Incidentally, this was the last of six fairly unknown films from Joseph Anthony's career.


Comments

Tomorrow Rating

" Weak "

Rating: PG, 1972

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