Soldier's Daughter Never Cries

Soldier's Daughter Never Cries

Director: James Ivory

Cast: James Ivory, Kris Kristofferson, Barbara Hershey, Leelee Sobieski

     
 
James Ivory's touching A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer that fails to preserve the original theatrical aspect ratio. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are no subtitles, but the soundtrack is closed-captioned. Supplemental materials include filmographies of the cast and crew, the

Overview

James Ivory's touching A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer that fails to preserve the original theatrical aspect ratio. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are no subtitles, but the soundtrack is closed-captioned. Supplemental materials include filmographies of the cast and crew, the theatrical trailer, and a making-of featurette. This is a fair release from USA that would have benefited greatly from a widescreen transfer.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The filmmaking team of director James Ivory and producer Ishmael Merchant, masters of Edwardian period fare, make an interesting change of pace in this adaptation of Kaylie Jones's semiautobiographical novel, A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries. Loosely based on the experiences of her father, James Jones, author of From Here to Eternity and The Thin Red Line, the story follows more than a decade in the lives of an expatriate American family living in Paris during the 1960s. Kris Kristofferson plays a gruff-but-lovable American novelist married to Barbara Hershey; their only daughter (teen acting sensation Leelee Sobieski) has trouble adjusting, when her parents adopt a French boy, and later, when the family moves back to the United States in the 1970s. Written for the screen by regular Merchant/Ivory collaborator Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries provides little in the way of out-and-out drama. Instead it focuses on the fabric of the family's well-to-do, slightly bohemian lives, subtly exploring their close-knit, deeply affectionate interrelationships. The result is a film that succeeds through its effective performances, creating, out of ordinary moments, a beautifully low-key family portrait.
All Movie Guide
Following the critical disappointments of Jefferson in Paris (1995) and Surviving Picasso (1996), A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1998) represented a return to form for Merchant and Ivory. The film's material broke new ground for the team; while they had presented character studies of expatriates before, these portraits had never taken place in the 1960s and '70s. The emotional center of the film lies with the unconventional Willis family, introduced to the viewer by daughter Channe (Leelee Sobieski). Kris Kristofferson finds the perfect balance for Billy Willis, a kindly father with a few rough edges. He offers straightforward and practical advice to his children, even about sex; and it is this supportive, honest approach that binds the family together. Both Barbara Hershey, as Marcella, and Jesse Bradford, as Billy, deliver fine performances as the mother and adopted son of the Willis clan. A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries offers a positive portrait of how a family can survive crises and remain healthy; their shared experiences are the emotional glue that binds this somewhat loosely structured film. There are a number of sensitively played scenes, and the natural language of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's screenplay works well for these. The only small glitch in the film involves failing to resolve a plot concerning Candida (Dominique Blanc), the Willis' housekeeper in the first two sections of the film. Bradford and Sobieski's performances would bring them to wider attention, while Merchant and Ivory would return to Victorian literary material in 2000 with The Golden Bowl.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/14/2002
UPC:
0696306014324
Original Release:
1998
Rating:
R
Source:
Polygram Usa Video
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
2:08:00

Special Features

Theatrical trailer; Featurette; Cast and crew filmographies; English 2.0; English closed captioned

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kris Kristofferson Bill Willis
Barbara Hershey Marcella Willis
Leelee Sobieski Channe Willis
Jesse Bradford Billy Willis
Anthony Roth Costanzo Francis Fortescue
Dominique Blanc Candida
Jane Birkin Mrs. Fortescue
Virginie Ledoyen Billy's Mother
Samuel Gruen Benoit
Luisa Conlon Young Channe
Isaach de Bankolé Mamadou

Technical Credits
James Ivory Director,Screenwriter
Jane Barclay Executive Producer
Noëlle Boisson Editor
Paul Bradley Co-producer
Jacques Bufnoir Production Designer
Jean-Marc Fabre Cinematographer
Celestia Fox Casting
Pat Garner Production Designer
Nayeem Hafizka Executive Producer
Sharon Harel Executive Producer
Richard Hawley Executive Producer
Ludovic Henault Sound/Sound Designer
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Screenwriter
Ismail Merchant Producer
Carol Ramsey Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard Robbins Score Composer
Tricia Tomey Casting
Annette Trumel Casting

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits
2. Billy's New Home
3. The Coat Closet
4. A Soldier's Daughter
5. Billy's Mother
6. The Tree House
7. Francis
8. Francis' Mother
9. Friendship
10. A Loss
11. A Writer Is Born
12. The Opera
13. Let It Be
14. Candida
15. Leaving Paris
16. Going Home
17. A New School
18. Teenage Boys
19. Raking Leaves
20. A Writer's Daughter
21. Billy's Parents
22. Keith
23. Happy New Year
24. Daddy's Gone
25. Dance With Me
26. Ending Credits

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