September 5 - 12, 1 9 9 6
[Movie Reviews]
| by time and neighborhood | by movies | by theater | film specials | reviews | hot links |
[line image]

***** A Phoenix Pick *****


No violence, no sex -- what's the point? Dan Ireland's first feature film, The Whole Wide World, is an exercise in restraint, focusing on the nuances of a turbulent romantic relationship without indulging in crowd-pleasing theatrics. Set in Texas in the 1930s, the film chronicles the two-year relationship between young schoolteacher Novalyne Price (Renee Zellweger) and the eccentric pulp fiction writer and creator of Conan (not O'Brien), Robert E. Howard (Vincent D'Onofrio). The pair move slowly and awkwardly through the rituals of courtship, initially drawn to each other by intellectual compatibility and a shared passion for writing. However, their love affair is eventually smothered by Robert's inability to adapt to social expectations and Novalyne's need for romantic security. The actors' understated performances, set against the lush backdrop of the Texan countryside, are fresh and heartfelt -- D'Onofrio's portrayal of his complex and misunderstood character is especially affecting. Although The Whole Wide World is the kind of low-budget independent effort that usually falls through the cracks, it offers a quietly memorable and visually dazzling depiction of love lost. Screens at the Copley Place at 5:20, 7:40, and 10 p.m., and on Thursday at 10:40 a.m. and 1 and 3:20 p.m. Director Dan Ireland and stars Vincent D'Onofrio and Renee Zellweger will appear at tonight's 7:40 p.m. showing.

-- Clarissa Cruz

| What's New | About the Phoenix | Home Page | Search | Feedback |
Copyright © 1996 The Phoenix Media/Communication Group. All rights reserved.