Skip to main content

BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA

USA, 1996 (MIFF 1997, International)

Director: Anjelica Huston

Anjelica Huston's splendid directorial debut is a harrowing examination of child abuse and backwoods ciose-mindedness in South Car­olina. 'Bone' Boatwright lives with the stigma of illegitimacy and began life the hard way. Her mother, Anney, is nearly killed in a car accident while in labour with Bone and en route to the hospital. Bone's doting stepfather is killed not long after; thus precipitating a spiral of poverty and ill treatment. Determined to remove the perceived curse of birth out of wedlock, Anney marries a man called Glen; his sweet demeanour conceals a violent temper which he unleashes on Bone.

lennifer Jason Leigh delivers one of her most sympathetic performances in years as a home-maker countering terrible psychological and phys­ical odds; the flip side is Ron Eldard and the compelling manner in which he portrays 'Daddy' Glen, an earnest young man who it seems is fated to become increasingly more vicious and vile.

Jena Malone, at the tender age of 11, is aston­ishing as Bone, the child protagonist of the piece. Her range - vulnerability, terror, defiance, rage and resignation, all played with equal conviction - is a talent to be coveted by many thesps thrice her age. Bastard Out of Carolina is not an easy film to watch; it is even harder to turn away from.

See also...

DREAM WITH THE FISHES

Terry, is a buttoned-down and uptight loner who has been feeling suicidal since the sup­posed death of his wife. His lonely past-times involve binoculars and his neighbours' open win­dows ... More »

WAITING FOR GUFFMAN

Christopher Guest - central to This Is Spinal Tap as the bard in blonde bangs, Nigel Tuffnal - directed, starred in and scripted Waiting For Guffman. It boasts the same hysterical improv/mockumentary ... More »

THE DAYTRIPPERS

An appealing souffle of modern marriage and family tribulations, Greg Mottola's first feature rises high above the sitcom standard of so many contemporary romantic comedies. Eliza finds a poetic love ... More »

THE FUNERAL

Bronx hard man Abel Ferrara has obsessively chronicled New York's criminal underbelly. Strip club low-lifes, corrupt cops and murderous mobsters - these are the central figures in Ferrara's neon-lit ... More »

WALKING AND TALKING

Two small girls, Amelia and Laura, giggle over a copy of The Joy of Sex. Flash forward: best friends since the sixth grade, Laura is now a trainee therapist and Amelia is in dire need of one - both ... More »

GRIDLOCK'D

Tupac Shakur's screen epitaph, completed prior to the rapper, and alleged gangster, being gunned down in Vegas late last year. Grid-lock'd is a skewed (drug) buddy film following the ludicrous ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director