Monday, March 28, 2016

Rambling Rose

There are many coming of age stories set in the South. The most famous is To Kill a Mockingbird which has provided inspiration to works of a similar nature. That said, not many have measured up to either Harper Lee's novel or Robert Mulligan's adaptation.

So where does Martha Coolidge's Rambling Rose rank? It does share a few traits with To Kill a Mockingbird but Rambling Rose is a work of its own merit. How so though?

Both To Kill a Mockingbird and Rambling Rose are set in the South during the Great Depression, and are told from a child's perspective. (Not to mention both films feature Robert Duvall among their casts.) But it's that perspective that gives these titles gravitas.

While To Kill a Mockingbird focused on racial discrimination, Rambling Rose hones in on sexuality within women. As history has regularly proven, society didn't exactly smile upon those of the fair sex expressing themselves physically. Suffice to say that Rose (Laura Dern) gets her share of leers and sneers from the townsfolk.

Rambling Rose, as with other women-directed films, finds no shame in depicting how women view sex. The performances from Dern and Diane Ladd further prove that belief. (But on a somewhat different note, what is with fiction's fascination with Southern women and the physical act?)

My Rating: ****

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