February 11, 1992 -- ``Fried Green Tomatoes'' is an odd title for a film. It is based on the Fannie Flagg book of the same name and her screenplay (she appears in the film briefly in a woman's seminar).
The movie unfolds as a series of stories told by Jessica Tandy to Kathy Bates, these two Academy Award winners help move the story along. The best performances in the film, however, are turned in by Mary-Louise Parker (who also appears in Grand Canyon) and Mary Stewart Masterson. These two star in the flashback scenes of events 40 to 50 years ago. Stan Shaw (Big George) and Cicely Tyson (Sipsey) also provide good performances in supporting roles.
The story is a complicated interweaving of old and current events, women's liberation, racism, love, humor, triumph and tragedy. As Tandy tells her stories to Bates, Bates is able to take heart from them and get her own life under control and eventually she reaches out to help Tandy.
This film is at once wise, funny and very moving. The story is not as confusing as it sounds, but this is really more of a character study than a straight narrative. The performances are very good and the southern accents are wonderful. The film powerfully evokes a time and place and people that are foreign to me, yet somehow they seem familiar. As you can guess this is a difficult film to describe, but a pleasure to experience. It rates a B+.
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