At Play in the Fields of the Lord (USA/Brazil, 1991, Universal) is a probing drama about the arrogance of American missionaries in the Amazon. Two couples — Aidan Quinn and Kathy Bates, and Darryl Hannah (she’s quite good in this) and John Lithgow — are assigned to convert an Amazon tribe. Bates has an outrageous mad scene. This is not another fast-paced, action-packed 1990s film. Instead, it’s a thoughtful and often-poignant observation about the damage religion can cause.
Available on iTunes and Amazon
Shoot the Moon (USA, 1982, MGM) is a dramatic gem! Arguably the most devastating film about divorce ever made. Superb performances by Diane Keaton and Albert Finney, and a truly touching performance by the late Dana Hill. Parker has that rare talent of creating a scene that makes you feel like you’re outside a window, peeping into the family’s daily life. The use of music, especially The Eagles’ “I Can’t Tell You Why” is stunning.
Available on Vudu and Google Play
- Jim Tompkins-MacLaine