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« Isabelle Huppert,French Legends,and Oscar Stats| Main| An Interview with the Founder of the Seattle Film Critics Society »
Friday
Jan 06 2017

The Wisdom of "Postcards"

We've been name droppingPostcards from the Edgea lot this past week,for obvious reasons.I caught the last half hour on accident on television tonight and every split second of it remains marvelous.By the time we get to Suzanne (Streep) reconciling with the director (Gene Hackman) whose film she nearly sabotaged,I am a mess of emotions.It's literally one of my single favorite scenes in all of cinema - so simply staged,so unfussily played by two of the best screen actors of all time,and deeply resonant every time.

Postcardsis known for its endless wit but here's something that's less often discussed: even when it's not trying to be funny,it's a total winner.It's a wise compassionate movie,constantly reminding us to go a little easier on ourselves and each other.

Lowell: Growing up isn't like in a movie where you have a realization and life changes.In life,you have a realization and your life changes a month or so later.

Suzanne:  So I just have to wait a month?

Lowell: It depends on the realization.Some of them you only wait a couple weeks.

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Reader Comments (11)

Preach
Most of the times,I think of Postcards as this fun hilarious parody of Carrie and Debbie.
But it's also a great inspiring movie about relationships and addiction.
Well done to all involved in making it

January 6,2017 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

I always find "Postcards"emotionally moving and funny in equal measures.It's a great movie about addiction,but the script resonates with anyone who has experienced growing up in a family.The tensions,regrets,emotional ups and downs apply to anyone,which is why Carrie Fisher's script has stood the test of time so well.It's first and foremost a film about coping with life.

The scene with Hackman and Streep is a lovely emotional pas de deux where he understands her weakness is a lack of confidence.His belief and willingness to work with her in the future is the lifeline that she needs.Gene Hackman plays the good guy with a gruff,slightly embarrassed charm.It's the only time Streep & Hackman ever worked together and it leaves me longing for more.

(Btw.Shirley Maclaine is so good as Suzanne's "war buddy"and mother,her lack of a nomination is ridiculous)

January 6,2017 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Thanks,crying again over here!

January 6,2017 | Unregistered CommenterArlo

Love that scene as well!

January 6,2017 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

LadyEdith - Yes.Shirley MacLaine is so brilliant in this movie.Hers may be one of my favorite performances of all-time.What an accurate portrayal of an alcoholic from that generation (why yes,it is very reminiscent of my grandmother,now that you ask).

January 6,2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Yes.This is also one of my favorite scenes in the movie.It seems to encapsulate the very human need to have someone connect with you and support you,separate from a parent who may be unavailable,or flat out abusive.Many of us did not have any such person in our lives,so the movie is very relatable.

And I don't know why,but as you say,the movie really does pull together beautifully in the last half hour.Watching it recently,I was struck how both Meryl and Shirley did really great characterizations that evoked elements of Carrie and Debbie,but also had their unique spin put on top.

I also love the cute banter between Streep and Richard Dreyfus.Adorable.

January 6,2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

I love this movie,and as I have said on this site before,I adore Gene Hackman.This was a phenomenal scene between two consummate professionals.

Re best lines,whenever my kids say I'm embarrassing them (often bc they're teens),I blurt out
"It TWIRLED up!"and they have no idea what I mean.

January 6,2017 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Not only was MacLaine robbed o a nom (she was nom at GG n as besr actress at BAFTA),imo,she shld've won it (Whoopi shld've won 5 yrs back for The Color Purple).

Its sad tt a superb comedienne like MacLaine never won for a comedy n she does deserves ano Oscar

January 6,2017 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

Meryl is everywhere during the voting period week for oscar nominations!

January 7,2017 | Unregistered CommenterJack

MacLaine has not even been nominated since winning for Terms of Endearment.Shameful.I think she split her vote for Postcards: she probably received votes in both Lead and Supporting.

January 7,2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

I always loved this film and now it inhabits a greater poignancy.

January 7,2017 | Unregistered CommenterCinesnatch

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