I saw this movie a while ago, and thought it was enjoyable, but I had some issues with it as well. The leads did a good job, and the mood and scenery was atmospheric. Most of the characters were pretty one-dimensional though. And the really weird thing about this movie was the fate of the abusive husband, and especially Cathy Bates' reaction when hearing about it. "Oh, you got rid of his body through cannibalism? Hahahaha! Good job!" He was an abusive idiot, sure. But killing and eating him for it? Wow.The way I prefer to see this movie is as a macabre piece of southern Gothic thinly disguised as a feel-good chick flick.
OK, so here's why this film is the opposite of everything you've ever been told it is: It's not a wonderful feel-good movie for the girls, it's an ugly, violent fantasy in which justice is confused with revenge.Let's break it down: There are no primary male characters in this movie. Of the secondary and tertiary ones, it could be said that all the (white) males are evil or inadequate. Buddy is good, of course, but inadequate. His own foolishness destroys him. Buddy Junior is equally good but equally inadequate.Frank, on the other hand is just plain evil, and in between are more ambiguous male characters. The police chief is willing to help Idgie, it's true, but only because of his lecherous interest in her, and his mentality is thoroughly racist.Of the male characters, only Big George is unambiguously both good and adequate. But Big George is a black man. And black men are oppressed men. In effect, they are not men at all: exempt on political grounds from…
Unlike a lot of Hollywood trash, this movie presents more human characters complete with trials, tribulations and very warm 3 dimensional peoples-people.Kathy Bates is – as always – outstanding and the acting in general is very high standard, high impact stuff but with its roots deep in genuine human psyche.There is enough going on in the movie to satisfy the adrenaline-dependant, but not enough to detract from the storyline or the overall feeling. The continuity between past and present flows evenly and serves to enhance, rather than hinder.Nice to see that proper film-making hasn't died! This isn't a chick-flick, its a people flick and deserves its place in our DVD library. It has its feet well and truly on the ground.
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