RAMBLING ROSE
1991, Rialto Pictures, 112 min, USA, Dir: Martha Coolidge

Martha Coolidge’s compassionate Depression-era drama, adapted by Calder Willingham from his 1972 novel, stars Laura Dern in the title role as a young woman fleeing a disreputable past. She winds up at the doorstep of the Hillyers (Robert Duvall and Diane Ladd), who agree to take her in – but Rose’s flirtatious presence ultimately proves unsettling. Anchored by four outstanding performances (including Lukas Haas as smitten Buddy Hillyer), the film brought Oscar nominations to both Ladd and Dern, the first time a real-life mother and daughter had been so honored.


NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION
1989, Warner Bros., 97 min, USA, Dir: Jeremiah S. Chechik

Screenwriter John Hughes expertly juggles farce and sentiment in this delightful holiday film, perhaps the best in the entire VACATION series. Suburban dad Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) finds his plans for the perfect Christmas going awry thanks to a visit from obnoxious brother-in-law Eddie (a hilarious Randy Quaid), but the slapstick antics give way to a surprisingly touching finale that perfectly sums up Hughes’ feelings about home and family. With Beverly D’Angelo, Diane Ladd.


WILD AT HEART
1990, Park Circus/MGM, 124 min, USA, Dir: David Lynch

Blending elements of THE WIZARD OF OZ and CINDERELLA (!) with a catalog of film noir subplots, director David Lynch leads us on an intoxicating, bizarrely perverse Southwestern odyssey with romantic ex-con and Elvis fan Sailor (Nicolas Cage) and his teen girlfriend Lulu (Laura Dern) as they flee psycho matriarch Diane Ladd (Dern’s real-life mom). With an unforgettable Willem Dafoe as demonic slimeball Bobby Peru. Also starring Harry Dean Stanton and Isabella Rossellini. This film was initially in danger of getting an X rating, until Lynch was forced to make cuts to earn an R.


Syndicate content