Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Prince Of Tides (1991)

"I don't know when my parents began their war against each other- but I do know the only prisoners they took were their children"

Tom Wingo (Nick Nolte) is a southern man with a troubled past filled with an abused childhood now living day to day with his wife (Blythe Danner) and their three children. The life path is laid out for Tom, nothing new or exciting just... life. He is summoned to New York to aid his twin sister Savannah(Melinda Dillon) who has attempted suicide. Unable to speak and recovering from her self-injurious behavior Tom meets with her psychiatrist Dr. Lowenstein (Barbara Steisand), an unhappily married mother of one, in order to find out what has happened with his sister and why now? Why has she tried to take her own life? The doctor then wonders if a certain childhood incident that has been buried for years is the cause. Tom soon finds he is becoming the patient and also he just might be falling in love. Promising to watch over his sister Tom stays in New York and a romance blossoms between the doctor and himself. As time goes on the doctor realizes both Tom and Savannah share the same secret they promised their mother they would never tell involving one stormy night in the deep south.

As a fan of the novel by Pat Conroy I thoroughly enjoyed this picture, mostly because he himself did the screenplay. I read this book once a year mainly because the story is so genuine and heartbreaking. I imagined so many people playing the part of Tom Wingo such as Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, or Robert Redford. But Nolte is Tom Wingo for me now. Portraying him so well I wouldn't even want to think of anyone else other than him in that role. Quiet, well mannered, and when need be outspoken on occasion. I hadn't seen this movie however until just recently due to the fact I didnt think it could hold a candle to the novel and I'm not a Barbara Streisand fan. She also directed the film and I must say I was impressed. Everthing was captured I loved about the book. From the scenic overtones of the south, to heroic landscapes of New York City, and her storytelling between present time and Tom's troubled past make this movie unforgettable as with Conroy's novel. I still prefer the novel and recommend reading it before watching the movie, but it fulfills what I feared could not be captured. Conroy was Nicolas Sparks("Dear John" and "The Notebook") before there was a Nicolas Sparks and I'm almost positive he may have played quite the influence for him. So in meeting my expectations and delivering a powerful film "The Prince of Tides" gets what it deserves. 4/5-tom

A powerful scene from the film

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