Marvin's Room (film)
|Directed by||Jerry Zaks|
|Produced by||Scott Rudin|
Robert De Niro
|Screenplay by||Scott McPherson|
|Based on||Marvin's Room|
by Scott McPherson
|Music by||Rachel Portman|
|Edited by||Jim Clark|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
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.
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 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, but he is unfortunately sedated. 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. As Bessie progressively seems to get worse, Lee comes to terms that it is now her turn to take care of her family. The film closes on Lee familiarizing herself with her father's medication, as she walks into his room with his lunch, overlooking Bessie flashing the mirror that makes Marvin smile.
- Meryl Streep as Lee Wakefield Lacker
- Leonardo DiCaprio as Hank Lacker, Lee's son
- Diane Keaton as Bessie Wakefield
- Robert De Niro as Dr. Wallace "Wally" Carter
- Hume Cronyn as Marvin Wakefield, father of Lee and Bessie
- Gwen Verdon as Ruth Wakefield, Marvin's sister and Lee and Bessie's aunt
- Hal Scardino as Charlie Lacker, Lee's other son
- Dan Hedaya as Dr. Robert "Bob" Carter, Wally's brother
- Margo Martindale as Dr. Charlotte Samit
- Cynthia Nixon as the Retirement Home Director
- Kelly Ripa as Coral, a soap opera character
- Bitty Schram as Janine, the receptionist
- Helen Stenborg as a Nun at the convent where Lee goes to live
- Olga Merediz as the beauty shop lady Lee does hair for
The film earned a positive reaction from critics. It currently holds an 84% 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." Metacritic gave the film a score of 68 out of 100 based on 20 critical reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
- 1997: 69th Academy Awards - Best Actress (Diane Keaton)
- 1997: 54th Golden Globe Awards - Best Actress, Drama (Meryl Streep)
- 1997: 3rd Screen Actors Guild Awards - Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
- 1997: 3rd Screen Actors Guild Awards - Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role (Diane Keaton)
- 1997: 3rd Screen Actors Guild Awards - Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Gwen Verdon)
- Marvin's Room Screen Adaptation: A Scriptwriting Handbook, by Kenneth Portnoy. Published by Focal Press, 1998. ISBN 0-240-80349-3.
- McPherson, Scott (1992). Marvin's Room (First ed.). New York: Plume drama. ISBN 0-452-26922-9.
- Grace in Suffering: Marvin's Room Praying the Movies: Daily Meditations from Classic Films, by Edward McNulty, McNulty. Geneva Press, 2001. ISBN 0-664-50155-9.
- Marks, Peter (December 8, 1996). "Two Wrenching Dramas Find Unexpected New Lives". The New York Times.
- A Door Left Opened accessed 11/23/2016
- Johnson, Gary. "Marvin's Room Explores the Ties That Bind". imagesjournal.com.
- "Marvin's Room (1996) Overview". The New York Times.
- Howe, Desson (January 10, 1997). "'Marvin's Room': No Emote Control". The Washington Post.
- "Marvin's Room (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
- "Marvin's Room Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
- "20th Moscow International Film Festival (1997)". MIFF. Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
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