Friday, July 06, 2007

Movie Review: The Cider House Rules

The Cider House Rules is, as you probably know, a pretty good movie. Well acted, well shot, an overall "A" effort from Hollywood. It's also unrelentingly anti-Christian and pro abortion.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, The Cider House Rules is about a doctor, played by the always excellent Michael Caine, who runs an orphanage in Maine. He's a kind man who comes from a difficult background, who provides a loving home for his wards. He also performs abortions. His protege and "work of art" is an adult orphan, played by Tobey Maguire, who is skilled at delivering children and learned how to perform abortions, although initially he doesn't like to.
The whole story is set up to present the pro-abortion side of the argument. The doctor, voiced by Caine, gets to eloquently present his position, Maguire's character more or less feebly opposes it because? We're not exactly sure why he opposes it, other than the fact the he was an unwanted child himself. That's about the closest thing you get to a pro-life argument. There is a scene when the doctor is riding in a truck with Maguire and another orphan and he's saying why abortion is necessary, Maquire points out that he and the other kid wouldn't be there if their moms had had the chance to abort them.
That, in a malformed, rather verbose nutshell is my problem with the film; it doesn't honestly try to portray both sides of the issue. Had it done so, I think it would have been a much better movie.
SPOILERS BELOW
The title of the film comes from a set of rules posted on the interior of the apple picker's house that tell cider makers how to act. They resent these outsider, boss-man made rules and feel they are insulting and in due course, ignore them. There is some dialogue about how people make their own rules everyday, blah-a-dee-blah-effin-blah. I might be more sympathetic to the those who would make their own rules, except that Mr. Rose, very well played by Delroy Lindo, the main proponent of rule breaking, is guilty of fathering a child with his own daughter, then assists in the abortion of his child-grandchild, gets knifed by that daughter and then commits suicide, more or less. Call me simplistic, but I think this man could use some moral guidance. Five word review: Moral bankruptcy posing as virtue.

1 comment:

Dexter said...

I would argue that it is only half a movie. The entire 2nd Act is chopped off which I think does a better job of addressing that with the main characters own involvment in procreation.