Monday, September 03, 2007

Autism in the Movies

Down in the Delta

Alfre Woodward gets top billing at last. She's a wonderful actress. She plays an alcholic who also does drugs and neglects her daughter who is autistic. She says there is no work for her and when she tries for a job as a cashier she can't do the maths Slowly sinking in a Chicago ghetto her mother persuades her to go to Mississippi and stay with her uncle. There her life and that of her children begins to improve. Her aunt has alzheimers.

This is a gentle story suffused with tradition though it's perhaps too symbolic when it touches on the subjects of roots and history. But it does have the casual quality of a good TV film. The flashbacks are not such a good idea and don't illuminate more than words. Woodward is trying to play someone who is not too bright which goes against her natural effervescence.

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