The Cider House Rules
Release Year: 1999
Director: Lasse Hallström
Writer: John Irving (screenplay based on his 1985 novel The Cider House Rules)
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Michael Caine, Paul Rudd, Delroy Lindo, Kathy Baker, Jane Alexander, Erykah Badu, Kieran Culkin, Kate Nelligan, Heavy DK. Todd Freeman, Paz de la Huerta, J.K. Simmons
Rating: Won 2 Oscar: Best Supporting Actor (Michael Caine), Best Screenplay. Nominated for 5 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Score. Nominated for 2 Golden Globes: Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay.
Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire) is raised at an orphanage by doctor Larch (Michael Caine) who loves him as his own child and trains him to be a doctor. When he meets a young couple, he decides to leave the orphanage and see the world.
The Cider House Rules is a fine example of an author doing a great job of adapting his own novel for the screen. Irving write long character-driven novels with subplots, often in the form of the ildungsroman. The Cider House Rules from 1985 is one of his best and few could have condensed this brick of a novel into a coherent two-hour long movie. The story focusses on Homer Wells, a boyish man who grows up in an orphanage and as he is never adopted, the Dr. Wilbur Larch, who runs the plae, takes him under his wing as his own son and teaches him all he knows about the medical profession. Wells is played wonderfully by Maguire (Wonder Boys, 2000) who innocent and boyish looks suits the role perfectly. Caine (The Quiet American, 2002) is excellent as the unconversional father figure and their shared bond as well as their moral differences is portrayed with great finesse. The orphanage scenes are likely to stick with you the longest, but much of the film takes place on an apple farm where Homer comes of age throughhis experiences there, including a romantic raltionship. It is a beautiful film to look at, and a moving drama, with a stirring score. A great literary adaptation and a wonderful film for a quiet and rainy afternoon.
John Irving was originaly attracked todoing the movie version because his son Colin (Dead Poets Society, 1989) could play Paul Rudd’s character, but production took so long that he became too old for it.
Picture Copyright: Scanbox