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Marvin's Room
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A story about the moments that bring us together.


Lee Lacker (Meryl Streep) verliet zeventien jaar geleden haar ouderlijke huis om met haar men elders een bestand op te bouwen. Hierdoor was Lee's zus Bessie (Diane Keaton) gedwongen om zorg op zich te nemen voor hun vader Marvin en hun kinderlijke tante Ruth. Sindsdien hebben de zussen elkaar niet meer gezien.
Inmiddels heeft Lee's man haar verlaten. Zij voedt haar zoons Hank (Leonardo DiCaprio) en Charlie (Hal Scardino) alleen op. Dat gaat niet zonder problemen. Hank heeft hun huis in de brand gestoken in zit in een psychiatrische inrichting.

Charlie leeft in zijn eigen wereldje en Lee kan maar geen baan vinden.
Plotseling belt Bessie Lee om te vertellen dat zij aan leukemie lijdt. Haar dokter (Robert De Niro) wil proberen of de ziekte geremd kan worden door een beenmergtransplantatie en Bessie vraagt Lee zich laten testen.
Lee wil Bessie niet in de steek laten en trekt samen met Hank en Charlie naar Florida.

Ik wil de tijschrift Videoland (MB) bedanken voor de tekst.

Marvin's Room (in english)

The woman's name is Bessie (Diane Keaton). She lives in Florida with her still-dying father, Marvin (Hume Cronyn), and a dotty aunt (Gwen Verdon), who wears some kind of medical device that is always opening the garage door. Bessie has discovered that she has cancer, but that her life might be saved by a bone marrow transplant. The only candidates for donors are Lee (Meryl Streep), a sister she has not seen in years, and Lee's two children. If they are to be of any help, some old wounds will have to be reopened.
Lee lives in Ohio, where her precarious life has recently taken an upturn; she's received her degree in cosmetology. It has also taken a downturn; her older son Hank (Leonardo DiCaprio) has just burned down the house. Her younger son Charlie (Hal Scardino) has reacted to this development as he reacts to most, by burying his nose in a book. Lee visits Hank in an institution, where he proudly reports, ``They're not strapping me down anymore!'' ``Don't abuse that privilege,'' she tells him.
The two sisters have not so much as exchanged Christmas cards in years, for reasons that they would certainly not agree on.
In broad outlines, this story goes on the same shelf with ``What's Eating Gilbert Grape,'' another movie drama about a malfunctioning family (also starring DiCaprio). Both films have children who are the captives of chronically housebound parents; both have a child whose behavior is unpredictable and perhaps dangerous; both have a rich vein of bleak humor; both are about the healing power of sacrifice.

External Links to Marvin's Room:

Ebert's link
Bill's link
Hollywood link

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Last modified on Wednesday 25 February 1998