What on earth has happened to Michelle Pfeiffer? Once upon a time she was one of Hollywood`s most versatile actresses, turning out energetic, fresh, unexpected performances in a variety of films such as Frankie and Johnny, The Russia House, Scarface, Married to the Mob, Dangerous Liaisons, as Titania (getting scant help from Rupert Everett on auto-pilot) in A Midsummer Night`s Dream, and of course her dazzling Susie Diamond brightening up the Bridges brothers` act in the fabulous The Fabulous Baker Boys.
Another great role from which she created gold is this overlooked film, for which she was rightly Oscar-nominated. In those days Pfeiffer was entrusted with some of the best parts going, and she invariably grabbed them with both hands and ran with them as far as they could take her.
Love Field is simply a very fine film that has been criminally neglected, which is a great shame, as it features not only the divine Michelle, as Lurene Hallett, an early `60s housewife with a Jackie Kennedy obsession, acting her socks off persuasively, but is an intelligent and unusual film which deserves far more recognition than it normally receives.
Dennis Haysbert (so effective with Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven) is terrific too as Paul, the unlikely `road buddy` Lurene hooks up with as she tries to get to Kennedy`s funeral by Greyhound bus, and director Jonathan Kaplan, in his best film to date, who previously directed Jodie Foster in The Accused, keeps the whole thing going with flair and aplomb.
There are effective performances from Brian Kerwin as Lurene`s lazy, abusive husband, and a beautifully delicate, sad-eyed one from Louise Latham as the older woman who gives the two runaways a bed for the night. You wish they could tell her story too...
To me, the ending at first seemed too neat and pat, but on thinking about it, what else could possibly say so much so eloquently?
The plot? Amazon`s rundown on this page tells you all you need to know - and more, so beware! Best to dive right in and discover it for yourself.
Michelle`s finest hour? Certainly one of her very best films, and without doubt one of her two or three most brilliant performances. This is the one where she never once looks like she`s acting. Always good at accents, she affects a Texan twang with no pain at all, and her whole portrayal of this basically good, if impulsive woman is funny, dizzying, and should have won her the Oscar for which she was nominated.
A film to watch many times, if only for the two leads - or should I say three: Stephanie McPhadden as Jonell, Paul`s sad, grave little daughter, is a peach, with her big, accusing eyes and (very) occasional well-chosen word.