Miles From Home | Chicago Reader

Miles From Home

When the bank forecloses on their famous and once-prosperous farm in Iowa, which Nikita Khrushchev visited and praised in 1959, Frank Roberts (Richard Gere) and his younger brother Terry (Kevin Anderson) burn the place to the ground and become fugitives from the law. While Frank continues to be full of violence and rage about their fate, Terry begins to think about cutting loose and settling down with a woman he loves named Sally (Penelope Ann Miller). Seemingly as slow-witted and as sincere as its semiarticulate characters, this movie draws on a lot of talent from Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre—director Gary Sinise, and such actors as Anderson, Terry Kinney, Francis Guinan, Laurie Metcalf, John Malkovich, and Randy Arney—but despite the earnestness and conscientiousness of their efforts, the script by Chris Gerolmo never gives them quite enough to work with, and the heaviness of Gere's performance sinks this movie like a ton of beef. Elliot Davis's cinematography makes the most of the midwest settings, and the actors (also including Helen Hunt, Judith Ivey, and Brian Dennehy) mainly acquit themselves admirably, but the ponderous pacing of the action and the thinness of the material—despite the potential resonance of the subject—regrettably dissipates most of the interest.

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