Synopsis by Karl Williams
Steve Martin produced, wrote, and starred in this modernized adaptation of the George Eliot novel Silas Marner. Martin is miserly small-town hermit Michael McCann, who hoards his wealth in the form of a rare coin collection. When his coins are stolen, McCann is ruined, but then he discovers an abandoned baby girl on his doorstep. Although he doesn't know it, the girl, whom McCann names Mathilda, is the illegitimate daughter of a prominent local politician, John Newland (Gabriel Byrne). Raising Mathilda has a profound effect on McCann, who emerges from his self-imposed exile and becomes an excellent, creative father. Mathilda grows up to be an intelligent, attractive girl, friendly with Newland and his wife (Laura Linney). When the Newlands learn that they cannot have children, John confesses his secret and embarks on a custody battle with McCann to regain guardianship of his daughter. The location of McCann's long-lost coins has a powerful impact on the proceedings, however. A rather dour and downbeat film, A Simple Twist of Fate lacked the charm and whimsy of Martin's earlier literary adaptation, Roxanne, and did not enjoy that film's box office success.
adoption, coin, court [law], custody-battle, illegitimate-child, politician, small-town, wealth