Mrs. Soffel | Chicago Reader

Mrs. Soffel

A prison warden's wife (Diane Keaton) falls in love with a convicted murderer (Mel Gibson) and helps him to escape. The direction, by Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career), revels in the kind of artistic flourishes—sweeping camera movements, unbelievably murky lighting, portentous close-ups of inanimate objects—that seem meant to disguise a lack of artistic content. Armstrong betrays no personal perspective on the romantic tragedy, which, true story or not, seems awfully codified and familiar; she contents herself with relating the plot points, and doesn't even do that with much assurance or clarity. With Edward Herrmann in the Edward Herrmann role (the warden), and Matthew Modine as Gibson's outlaw brother (1986).

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