THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?

​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

THE HANDMAID'S TALE (1990)

With Hulu premiering a Handmaid's Tale series this month, we thought it would be a good time to look at the 1990 movie. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood has become part of world literature and been translated into almost every language there is. The novel has never been out of print in three decades. However, the movie has been nearly forgotten. The story is compelling - in a dystopian future, young women who are fertile are forced into camps and then trained to becom...e handmaids, a sexual surrogate for couples who want children but can't have them. That's a BIG problem in this US-type country. Natasha Richardson, whose husband was killed and daughter taken away when they tried to flee the country, is forced to become a handmaiden to the Commander (Robert Duvall) and his wife (Faye Dunaway). Her new name is "Offred" (of Fred, the Commander's first name). She falls in love with the commander's chauffeur Nick (Aidan Quinn) and better get herself pregnant soon or else she's she sent off to the colonies, apparently a place you don't want to be sent to. Sounds like a pretty good narrative but the problem with The Handmaid's Tale is that the participants are just too cold - there's not enough feeling and passion here from all involved, except for Elizabeth McGovern, who is amusing and full of life - she befriends Natalie, who helps her escape from handmaid training school. She turns up later in a secret illegal bordello that the Commander takes Offred to. The film has moments of life but ends abruptly, almost as if there was a sequel being set up. Perhaps the book also ended where the film did but The Handmaid's Tale went through two directors and the famed Harold Pinter was said to be exhausted by writing the screenplay. Pinter wanted his name taken off the credits because of the numerous liberties taken with his original script. This behind the scenes trouble may explain the problems with this adaptation, not to mention why the film is practically a forgotten movie. Maybe the Hulu series can bring the story to life in a way the film could not. #70 of 2017.

TLA one-word review: disjointed