Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

Directed by Clint Eastwood

Starring Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Annie Corley


A romantic tale told in flashback, capturing the hearts of America the same way The Notebook would a generation later.

Streep and Eastwood do have an undeniable chemistry. Streep pulls off a remarkably sexual performance, perhaps the only time I’ve ever seen her take on a role like this. Her Italian accent is decent, but through all of the distorted vowels, her ebbs and flows and emphasis are still uniquely American. I don’t totally buy it. Slezak is not a very good actor and nearly ruins all of the present day scenes.

It’s the story I’ve got some moral issues with. It’s hard to root for Francesca, because she’s ultimately cheating on her husband, which is bad enough but he also seems to be a guy who is perhaps a little boring but an otherwise respectable partner. It’s also hard to root for Robert, who is essentially a drifter chasing some married tail. The film glosses over this ugliness, and perhaps it’s for the best. I imagine movie posters and marketing for a movie called “The Horny, Slutty, Cheating Farmer’s Wife” would have been difficult.

I wonder how the story would be received if it was an unhappy husband taking advantage of his time home alone to have a fling with an attractive woman visiting town for a few days while his wife was out of town doing things for the kids.

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