Sunday, April 10, 2005

Shattered Spirits, A Great---Something or Other...

Ahh no, can't forget this one. Shattered Spirits is an ABC TV movie that originally aired in 1986. And of course in my school they hauled out of the three C plus TV’s and VCR’s on the rickety stand and made us watch this. I already had it covered the week before. This was Martin Sheen at his irascible, twitchy peak, add booze to the mix and Roxana Zal, I was all over it. I wasn’t let down. Sheen’s portrayal as a hopeless and mean drunk is still on of the best portrayals I’ve seen. Even Meg Ryan’s hyper-sexual, prankster, shower crashing moments couldn’t compare.

His son in the film Matthew Laborteaux was good too. Living in a similar situation (moment of candor) Laborteaux’s take of a decent kid made smaller and shy by his father’s guzzling and funny moods gave the whole thing a ring of truth. Zal was just there in an underwritten role. Thankfully this film didn't veer into Something About Amelia territory, like we needed another reason to hate Lyle. The highlight for me, among many, is when Sheen chewed his kid out about cutting the grass (brilliant and real) and then proceeded to do it—at about 10:15 PM. Loved it. What was cool about the movie was that there was no happy ending. Really with all of the damage there was a lot to forgive.

Added On Stuff: You know what else I liked in this? The scene where Lyle follows and catches Kenny at that fast-food joint during that field trip? Brutal. We know Kenny was on shaky ground as a "cool" kid and seeing drunken "Pops" amble in with a head o' steam scarred Kenny for life. Special notice certainly goes to Melinda Dillon as Joyce Mollencamp--such an enabler.

The Most Underatted Thing In The Film: What else? That van.
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