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Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Scarlet Letter by Roland Joffé, 1995 (R)

with Demi Moore (G.I. Jane), Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Dark Knight Rises, Lawless), Robert Duvall (Thank you for smoking, Jack Reacher), Lisa Joliffe-Andoh, Edward Hardwicke, Robert Prosky, Roy Dotrice, Joan Plowright, Malcolm Storry, James Bearden

In this adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, Puritan settler Hester Prynne (Demi Moore) is accused of adultery in a Massachusetts settlement in the 1660s. Although she's attracted to the town's pastor (Gary Oldman), the two resist temptation. But only a whiff of scandal is enough for the town's morality police to sentence Prynne to live as an outcast and wear a shameful scarlet A for adultery.

That was a flashback. I stumbled upon the movie changing randomly the channels. As very few French people but many Americans, I read that book when I was young. It was one of the first that ended well, since French literature is not about happy ending. I remember a decade later watching the movie for the first time, and hum, not finding Gary Oldman sufficiently handsome to be convincing, and remembering how cheesy sounded the end. Not much has changed, it is overacted, over dramatic, and the narration that over-explain the story is breaking the little charm the movie has, the ending is quite unsettling, the only good point of the movie is basically to highlight how miserable the condition of the women was.

Watch trailer:


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