Marvin's Room (film)

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Marvin's Room
Marvins room poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Jerry Zaks
Screenplay by John Guare
Based on Marvin's Room
by Scott McPherson
Music by Rachel Portman
Cinematography Piotr Sobociński
Edited by Jim Clark
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release date
  • December 18, 1996 (1996-12-18)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $23 million
Box office $12,803,305

Marvin's Room is a 1996 American drama film directed by Jerry Zaks. The script was written by John Guare and based on the play of the same name by Scott McPherson, who died in 1992. McPherson had completed a screenplay for a film version before he died; however Guare was hired to update it when the film eventually started production years later.[1][2]

It stars Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Hume Cronyn, Gwen Verdon, Hal Scardino and Dan Hedaya. Original music for the film was composed by Rachel Portman. Carly Simon wrote and performed the theme song "Two Little Sisters", with Meryl Streep adding background vocals.


A man who had a stroke 20 years ago (Hume Cronyn) is left incapacitated and bed-ridden. He has been cared for by his daughter Bessie (Diane Keaton) in their Florida home, and totally ignored by his other daughter, Lee (Meryl Streep), who moved to Ohio with her husband 20 years ago and has never contacted her family. Now, however, Bessie's doctor has informed her that she has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant[3] and she turns to her sister for help. Lee, in turn, turns to her son Hank (Leonardo DiCaprio), who has been committed to a mental institution for setting fire to his mother's house. When Lee finds that she may have to take over her father's care, she at first begins shopping around for nursing homes. Eventually, however, the estranged family grows close.[4][5]



The film earned a positive reaction from critics. It currently holds an 80% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based on 50 reviews, with an average rating of 6.7/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Marvin's Room rises above the pack of dysfunctional family dramas thanks to an impeccable cast that includes Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, and Leonardo DiCaprio."[6] Metacritic gave the film a score of 68 out of 100 based on 20 critical reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[7]




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