Household Saints 2.0 stars

Long-winded, high-colored family chronicle about the Italian-American wife who is "won" in a pinochle game, and the daughter who throws herself into religion without any encouragement from her parents: "Nuns are sick women," instructs Papa. The movie loses a lot, around the halfway point, with the death of the superstitious, disapproving mother-in-law ("Your husband's breakfast dishes have been in the sink for two hours"), although it thereafter goes into more original material: the adolescent mystic. Lili Taylor, who picks up the role at age fourteen and carries it to eighteen, looks much too old for it -- old enough, certainly, to know her own mind -- and this undercuts some of the potential pathos and humor. (There gets to be less and less of the latter, anyway.) Tracey Ullman, undergoing a metamorphosis from Woman of the Forties to Fifties to Sixties, plays it admirably straight. With Vincent D'Onofrio and Judith Malina; directed by Nancy Savoca. 1993.

Duncan Shepherd

This movie is not currently in theaters.


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