The Boston Phoenix
Review from issue: September 7 - 14, 2000

[Boston Film Festival]

| reviews & features | by movie | by theater | by time and neighborhood | film specials | hot links |

The Rising Place

The title of Tom Rice's earnest but inert effort refers to a Mississippi Delta term for an epiphany. That's according to the voiceover narration of Virginia (Frances Fisher), and you'll have to take her word for it that she finds her own rising place when she discovers a pile of letters left by her ailing Aunt Emily (Alice Drummond). As shown in awkward flashbacks, Emily was a bit of a spitfire as a young woman in the '40s, bearing out of wedlock the child of a part-Creole flyboy who dumped her. She then added to her ostracism by rallying to the support of best friend Wilma (Elise Neal, adding genuine sass to the cast) and the black community. The creaky epistolary framing device here is especially inept, as the only thing Virginia gets out of the story is a few cheap tears and the realization that she should pay more attention to her elders before they end up in intensive care. Too bad this formless and cliché'd movie didn't realize it should have paid more attention to the rise and fall of meaningful dramatic structure. Screens tonight at 7 and 9:15 p.m. and tomorrow at 12:15, 2:30, and 4:45 p.m. Director Tom Rice and star Jennifer Holliday will appear at tonight's 7 p.m. screening.

-- Peter Keough

Film Festival Feature Films

Shadow of the Vampire | Songcatcher | Venus Beauty Institute | What's Cooking? | The Broken Hearts Club | Envy | Goya in Bordeaux | Human Resources | Skipped Parts | Amargosa | Henry Hill | Relative Values | The Rising Place | The Contender | Pitch People | Roof to Roof | Four Dogs Playing Poker | Reckless Indifference | Requiem for a Dream | Shadow Magic | About Adam | Charming Billy | Enemies of Laughter | Into the Arms of Strangers | Running on the Sun | A Trial in Prague | Harry, He's Here to Help | A Man is Mostly Water | Seven Girlfriends

Also, Boston Film Festival short films

[Movies Footer]