Quirky comedy, intense drama, and warm nostalgia are all combined in this eccentric look at one night in 1964 amongst the residents of the Five Corners neighborhood of the Bronx. The bulk of the film concerns Linda (Jodie Foster), a young woman who finds herself stalked by a disturbed rapist fresh out of prison. Needing protection, she turns to her formerly tough ex-boyfriend, only to discover that a recent political awakening has transformed him into a pacifist. The tension of Linda's situation is leavened by the film's attention to its bizarre subplots, which include a stolen penguin, partying teenagers who encounter trouble with an elevator, and a pair of detectives investigating a series of mysterious bow-and-arrow attacks. The script by John Patrick Shanley, who won the 1987 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Moonstruck, manages to (for the most part) bring these seemingly unrelated stories together into a fairly logical conclusion. Even though numerous critics felt that Five Corners' mixture of widely disparate tones was not completely successful, the end result is a surprisingly charming and unique tribute to a time and a place.
by Judd Blaise synopsis