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First there's Sidda (Sandra Bullock), a successful playwright still wrestling with her manipulative mother, Vivi (Ellen Burstyn), after a traumatic upbringing. Then there's long-time friends Teensy (Fionnula Flanagan), Necie (Shirley Knight), and Caro (scene-stealer Maggie Smith), from Vivi's secret club of "Ya-Ya Priestesses", together since childhood and determined to heal the rift between Sidda and her mum. Through an ambitious flashback structure (including Ashley Judd as the younger Vivi), screenwriter and first-time director Callie Khouri (who wrote Thelma & Louise) establishes a rich context for this mother-daughter reunion. There's plenty of humour to temper the drama, which inspires Bullock's best work in years. Definitely worth a look for the curious, but only fans of Wells' fiction will feel any twinge of loyalty. --Jeff Shannon