Monday, November 15, 2010

Coming Home. B+

Coming Home sounds like a makeshift title for a war drama, but it stands up better than its name, even if it is no Deer Hunter. The two movies that are often brought up when discussing films about the repercussions of war are Coming Home and The Deer Hunter, (coincidentally they both came out in the same year) but the former actually reminded me more of Jim Sheridan's Brothers from last year. They tell similar stories only with different wars. Coming Home is Vietnam, and it's about a husband who leaves his wife to fight, only to return home and find that she's become involved with another man. What's interesting is that this other man is a wheel-chair bound ex-soldier who has psychiatric problems nearly as great as his physical limitations. The woman, played by Jane Fonda, volunteers at the hospital where he stays, forms a friendship with him, and ultimately brings hope into his life. The tragedy lies in the fact that her husband is also scarred from the war, yet since his wife has broken the bond of marriage while helping another, she can do nothing for him. Coming Home hasn't held up as well as a movie like The Deer Hunter, yet its observations are nearly as keen. And it's also clearly cherishes America, indicated by its spirit and broad array of pop tunes. There's also something extremely moving about the performances, mainly from Fonda (whose smile looks just like her father's to me) and Jon Voight, who seems to be one of the best actors that no one ever talks about any more. I guess that's sort of the same with this movie.

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