Posts Tagged ‘Ethan Frome’

ETHAN FROME – Rachel Portman

March 30, 2023 Leave a comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Ethan Frome is a romantic drama directed by John Madden, based on the tragic novel by Edith Wharton. The film is set in snowy Vermont in 1911 and stars Liam Neeson as the titular character, who has been trapped by circumstance and duty his entire life. He is married to a sickly and demanding woman, Zeena (Joan Allen), who has come to live with him and his mother after the death of her own family. The couple is struggling financially, and Ethan is unable to leave the farm to pursue his dream of becoming an engineer. One winter day, a young and vivacious cousin of Zeena’s, Mattie Silver (Patricia Arquette), comes to stay with the Fromes to help care for Zeena. Ethan is immediately drawn to Mattie’s youthful energy and zest for life, and they begin to fall in love, but despite their growing feelings for each other, they are unable to act on them; Zeena is suspicious of their relationship and threatens to send Mattie away. Ethan is torn between his love for Mattie and his duty to Zeena, and in a desperate attempt to escape his unhappy life, considers running away with Mattie. However, their plan is foiled and their decision, and its aftermath, have significant consequences for all. It’s a classic, if somewhat bleak, tale of star crossed lovers, but the film was not a success with either critics or audiences; Roger Ebert famously described it as “the kind of movie they used to show us in high school English class, where it gave literature a bad name.” Read more…