Marion Bridge | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Marion Bridge

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Nova Scotian playwright Daniel MacIvor based the screenplay of this powerful Canadian feature (2002, 90 min.) on his play of the same name, and it has all the virtues of fine stage drama: narrative economy, honest emotion, and characters so closely defined that the most pedestrian encounters between them are revelatory. Three sisters from a devout Irish Catholic family reunite to be with their alcoholic mother as she succumbs to lung cancer, and the rebellious middle child, herself a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, insists on bringing her home from the hospital to die. The plot hinges upon ugly secrets from the past, but like real sisters the three women erupt as readily into girlish teasing as bitter recriminations. Molly Parker is bewitching as the tormented middle sister, and Rebecca Jenkins is equally compelling as her angry but loving older sister. Wiebke von Carolsfeld directed. Gene Siskel Film Center.

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