Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Of the three "mortgage on the farm" films of 1984 (Country and The River were the other two), Places in the Heart is the only one set during the Depression. After her husband is killed, Sally Field is forced to take over the debt-ridden Texas family farm herself. Though slightly embittered by the fact that a black man was responsible for her husband's death, Field accepts the help of another African-American, Danny Glover. She is also given aid and comfort by her blind boarder, John Malkovich. Despite almost insurmountable odds, Field manages to bring in the cotton crop and to hold her farm and family together. Throughout the film, director Robert Benton stresses the importance of solidarity in facing down disaster, underlining this point with a remarkable surrealistic finale, in which the "live" members of the cast are seen singing a hymn with the characters who have "died" in the course of the film. Places in the Heart won Sally Field her second Academy Award.
poverty, widow/widower, racism, forbidden-love, sexism, survivor, against-all-odds, blindness [physical], cross-cultural-relations, drifter, employment, family, family-tragedy, farming, foreclosure, hardships