Places in the Heart (1984)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Rural Drama, Americana, Family Drama  |   Run Time - 112 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Brendon Hanley

Places in the Heart is an intensely personal family drama from writer-director Robert Benton, set and shot in his hometown of Waxahachie, Texas. The film avoids overt sentimentality, thanks in large part to the outstanding central performance of Sally Field, who would receive her second Best Actress Oscar in the Captain Ahab-ish role of a Depression-era widow determined to save her family's farm. Field is surrounded by a wealth of talented supporting players, including married Ed Harris and Amy Madigan as extramarital lovers, and big-screen newcomers Danny Glover and John Malkovich. The stunning, evocative photography is courtesy of Nestor Almendros (Days of Heaven), who bathes the film in a warm, lyrical glow without unearned nostalgia.