100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

February 15, 1988 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 8 -The Michigan Daily-Monday, February 15, 1988

'Ironweed'

enhances

storyline with

fine

acting

By Mark Shaiman
Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep
have teamed up again in Ironweed.
After the disappointment of the
lackluster Heartburn, their first film
together, this is an extremely wel-
come movie. Instead of just being a
vehicle in which these two talents
can act together, Ironweed uses the
stars to enhance the storyline.
Of course the initial draw to this
film is its headliners. Between them
there are four Oscars and 14
nominations. These are quite im-
pressive stats, but rightly so, and
their performances here are up to
their self-developed standards.
Nicholson plays Francis Phelan,
an ex-big-leaguer turned bum when
he could not cope with his guilt
upon causing the death of his infant
son. He's scruffy and hard-nosed, but
he's got a heart of gold and an empty
pocket; it sounds like the role was
even written for him.
Then there is Streep, who has
such ability and flexibility that any
role seems to have been conceived
with her in mind. As Helen she por-
trays a former singer and pianist who
is down and out. What may be most
impressive about her part is that she
is a secondary character, and is only
on the screen a quarter of the time of
the film. In that time she never once
tries to upstage the rest of the cast.
Streep understood her role and did
just what she had to do with it - no
nore, no less.
The film is an adaptation of
William Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize
winning novel, and Kennedy himself
did the screenplay. Set in Albany in
1938, the story is concerned with the
lives of the homeless, mainly Fran-
cis. Through various characters we
learn about this type of life - where
they sleep, how they get money,
what they eat, why they live like
they do. No solutions are offered,

tightly knit. He knows how to use
film techniques to get across a story
and a meaning. Transitions are
smooth, especially in certain critical
scenes where Francis sees appari-
tions from his past. These could be
very hokey, but in Babenco's
experienced hands they fulfill their

purpose of providing insight into
Francis' personality.
Ironweed is one of those films
where everything works as it is
meant to work. The acting is terrific,
the visuals are expressive, the story
is interesting, and this all leads to an
effective statement.

CONTRADICTIONS AND INNOVATIONS
IN HEALTH CARE OF THE ELDERLY:
A DOCTOR'S DILEMMA
by
GARY R. ANDREWS, M.D.
Professor and Chairman,
Department of Primary Care and Community Medicine,
The Flinders University of South Australia
and
Chairman of the Executive Committee Asia/Oceania Region
of the International Association of Gerontology.
Tuesday, February 16, 1988, 4:00 p.m.
Rackham Amphitheatre, Fourth Floor
915 East Washington, Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan Department of Recreational Sports
presents
SU'MMER
SO FTBALL

Unlike their disappointing appearance in 'Heartburn,' Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep both turn in
engaging performances in 'Ironweed.' Nicholson plays Francis Phalen an ex-big-leaguer turned burn
with a heart of gold. Streep portrays Helen, a down and out singer and pianist and succeeds by not

overplaying her secondary role.
but the exploration of the problem is
as relevant today as when the story
is set.
The isolation that these people
feel is well demonstrated in the sim-
ple idea that many of the characters
do not have last names. It empha-
sizes the point that they are just
shadows of their former selves, and
not whole people. The final blow
comes when the old railroad station
where the homeless "reside" is raided
by the town folk, entirely without
provocation. In this case, ignorance
is not bliss, but the cause of hatred.
In a somewhat comical scene He-
len poignantly summarizes the way
of life of herself and her compan-
ions. Kneeling in front of a statue of

Christ she says "Forgive me for I
have sinned. You may call them
sins, I call them decisions." To th
homeless, life does not consist of
right or wrong; it is a matter of sur-
vival. And that is the point of the
film.
Social commentary is a prevalent
part of the story and it is well- han-
dIed. This in itself is a good reason
to see the film, if Nicholson and
Streep aren't enough already. But
there are still other features that
make the film worthwhile.
Tom Waits has a supporting role
as Rudy, a slow-witted bum who has

terminal cancer. He evokes the right
amount of pity and pathos from the
audience and from Francis - his
character takes the place of the child
that Francis lost. And Carroll Baker
plays the wife that Francis left be-
hind and visits after 22 years. She is
able to display a calm exterior and
inner turmoil at the same time. Such
able performances should not be
overlooked in the shadow of the two
main stars.
The other star of the film is be-
hind the scenes. Director Hector
Babenco (Kiss Of The Spider
Woman) has kept the production

Classics

CF #" lx~fr 4 17. - I8t0)
) RECRUIT U.S.A., INC. (800) 325-9759
CITICORP PLAZA, 725 S. FIGUEROA ST., SUITE 3100
LOS ANGELES, CA 90017 PHONE:(213) 955-4900

c'mon.. thursday's classes aren't all that important
LAUGHF <7IAK
presents comedian
DIRECT FROM L.A.'S IMPROV & DANGERFIELD'S IN N.Y.C.
TI ALE
DETROIT'S ORIGINAL BAD BOY OF COMEDY
Student Comedians

Adult
Slow-Pitch Leagues
Mass Meeting February 24-6:00 p.M.
Room 3275
Central Campus Recreation Building
401 'Washtenaw
CHOICE playing fields
CHOICE location/lights/parking
CHOICE umpires
CHOOSE CO REC C-Men's B, C, D
Single or double header leagues
CHOOSE Reasonable Rates/no hidden costs/No uniforms
CHOOSE No residency requirement/No university affiliation requirement
RETURNING TEAMS GET SCHEDULING PRIORITY
For Information Call Jan - 763-3562

I

4

I0

'N

MIKE TOWER

HARRY BERBERIAN

WEDNESDAY
FEBRUARY 17
And Your Host
ERIC CHAMPNELLA

I

F:
pEu
:

IN THE U-CLUB
10 P.M.
$2.50 Admission
Sunday.UrACK da
705 U .¬ęc.(wA eraC
r' U

_ .

_

L

THE
Ni_,jERSITY
CLUB

I

oor
er...

Let Them Know
How You FeelI I
DAILY PERSONALS 764-0557

Attention Engineering
Undergraduate Students
1988 Landes Prize Announcement
Undergraduate students currently registered in the Engineering College
are eligible to compete for the George M. Landes Prize ($800). This is an award
presented annually to an undergraduate student who demonstrates excellence of
both technical work and the presentation of that work in written or graphic
form. The prize is presented in memory of George M. Landes, a 1977 graduate
of the Mechanical Engineering Department and a Ford Motor Company
engineer who was killed in an automobile accident in 1981.
To enter, a student must submit a single piece of technical work. This
presentation -- written, graphic, or some combination of communication media
-- can be a technical article, a design report, a piece of technical journalism, or

Is the only MAC you know
a hamburger?

"
Zs-

You can't eat a Macintosh computer, but you can learn to use one. That's
wvhyPIC--Peer Informtion Couinseling--offers asistance in basic wrord nro-

A

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan