Video Review

The French Lieutenant's Woman; Deception; Birdy

EW's GRADE
B

Details Genres: Drama, War; With: Nicolas Cage and Matthew Modine; Distributor: TriStar Pictures

If they're out of The Piano at the video store and you desire a period film about a sexually renegade woman withdrawn from the world, try The French Lieutenant's Woman, a brooding study of passion in Victorian England. Russet-haired Meryl Streep is the enigmatic Sarah Woodruff and Jeremy Irons the soldier smitten with her in one of the most depressing romantic stories ever told. A-

There are many films about romance and the piano, but the most durable may be Deception. Bette Davis plays a feisty fingerer, and Claude Rains is her mentor/lover who destroys the stemware in a jealous rage when an old boyfriend reclaims her heart. A

For another film about a character shut off from humanity and refusing to speak, there's Birdy. A traumatized Vietnam vet (Matthew Modine) fascinated with birds attempts to become one and fly away from his pain. Nicolas Cage plays the best friend bent on leading him back to the world. B

Originally posted Jun 17, 1994 Published in issue #227 Jun 17, 1994 Order article reprints
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