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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 15.25%
Average: 5.08%
Pretty Bad: 15.25%
Total Crap: 6.78%

3 reviews, 41 user ratings

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Bridges of Madison County, The
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by Chris Parry

"When aliens land and want to know what love is, show them this."
5 stars

I just don’t know what to make of Clint Eastwood. He seems to be the quintessential tough guy, ready to take down a foe with gun or fist in virtually every movie he takes part in. You look at Clint’s craggy features and you wouldn’t think there’s a thinking man underneath – until you see one of his directorial performances. With Unforgiven, Eastwood proved he could put together a slow, powerful, well-directed and performed piece of cinematic art, and though it still had macho man undertones, it was worth every ounce of its Oscar recognition. Bridges of Madison County, however, reveals a part of Eastwood’s persona that few would have known existed; a philosophical side, a romantic side, an underspoken meandering side that points to a man less concerned with making box office dollars and more concerned with telling a personal story. Respect to Clint for putting his cajones on the line to make a ‘chick flick’, and utmost respect to him for pulling it off with aplomb.

Francesca (Meryl Streep) is an Iowa housewife in the 50’s. Originally from Italy, and having met and married her Iowa farmer husband while he was in Italy with the military, she unwittingly signed herself up for a trip with no sights. She’s bored with the farmer’s wife routine and when the hubby and kids take off for a few days and a National Geographic photographer (Clint Eastwood) wanders by, she’s suddenly swept up with the possibilities of what life could be if she decided to run away with him.

Told through a post-death letter to her children, Francesca’s tale isn’t particularly special, and the man she longs for isn’t the be all and end all of human existence. It’s simply four days of what could have been, told in such a beautiful, patient manner that any viewer with a longing in their heart for a great lost love or the long since forgotten wish to see a city on the other end of the world, can not help but be swept up in things.
Streep is, as ever, perfect as the Italian cum-cornfield house frau, and Eastwood’s understated performance, as the photographer who enters her life, is no less unforgettable.

If anything is lacking in this romantic epic, it would be a pair of performers to play Francesca’s children capable of matching the skill of the leads. Playing parallel to Eastwood and Streep’s bravura outing, none of the other cast members seem able to hold a candle to them, especially Victor Slezak who looks all at sea from start to finish, and though the difference in skills between the leads and the co-stars is understandable, it’s also noticeable.

Still, if you’re looking for a movie that can wake you up from the everyday and start to believe that there’s more to life than the nine to five, Bridges of Madison county is a pretty good bet to do just that. The depiction of two people falling in love is not only well woven, but it also tends to shine a spotlight on your own ‘what if’s, and even if you’re not a huge romantic it’s nothing short of amazing to see what two top-of-the-line actors can do with no action, no supporting cast, and little else beyond a wooden bridge and a yellow linoleum kitchen table. If story, acting and passion matter to you, forget labels like ‘chick flick’ and rent this fine example of all three.

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originally posted: 04/02/02 13:11:16
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User Comments

10/24/16 roger He expects a one-night-stand...She wants a LTR HA 1 stars
6/09/16 Mike This movie hits all the soft spots in your heart. Keep the kleenex close! 5 stars
3/14/14 Quigley I appreciate this film more for the atmosphere than the morals. 4 stars
5/04/10 Roger Iverson She expects him to make a COMMITMENT after sleeping together for 1 night? Give me a break 1 stars
3/22/08 Pamela White Heartwarming to see Clints soft side 4 stars
9/28/07 mr.mike only saw it as a Clint completist , dragged after 1 hour 2 stars
5/12/07 Helena my all time favourite movie. Allows you to dream and think 'what if .....' 5 stars
4/30/07 Francesca Jo This is the best movie I've ever seen. Beautiful and sad at the same time and very real. 5 stars
4/26/07 jun tena A must see movie.You'll sure love it! 5 stars
10/03/06 Jeremy Davies Shame on you clint! This movie will neuter any man 1 stars
8/15/06 Sepi53 very very good romance 5 stars
6/15/05 Bridges or Bust One of the favorite love stories of all time ... 5 stars
5/13/05 Jennifer Regan Very heartwarming, highly recommend 5 stars
7/01/04 george perfect,perfect,perfect,perfect,perfect 5 stars
2/25/04 john surprisingly Eastwood delivers a serious and honest film from a romance novel like plot 4 stars
12/22/03 R.W. Welch Low key Brief Encounter flick is pokey but you can't knock the acting. 3 stars
7/31/03 Tatyana This film makes the soul vibrate and the memory revive 5 stars
6/22/03 Wanda Better every time I see it 5 stars
6/15/03 skf Awesome! Loved it! 5 stars
6/10/03 nee I have loved this filmed ever since I first saw it. Its the most beautiful movie 5 stars
5/16/03 mr. Pink An okay movie which could have been worse, which applies also to Streep 3 stars
5/08/03 Andrew Carden Sappy, but Unlifting Film With Amazing Performances By Eastwood & Streep. 4 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby A near-perfect film. Beautifully acted, sensitively directed. 5 stars
4/24/02 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Tedious storyline but impressive performances by leads 4 stars
4/05/02 Scott Sumner Uh, no. Tearfully.....tedious. 2 stars
5/09/01 amanda i thought the book was absolutely boring what a waste of time 1 stars
7/06/00 Jesús García Razcón Streep gives another excellent performance. 5 stars
6/08/00 TERRIE SMITH Well done; exceptional performances from Eastwood and Streep. A bittersweet story . 5 stars
5/19/00 tank A moving romance with Eastwood displaying deep emotion. Streep is excellent. . 4 stars
4/11/00 Elvisfan Meryl Streep is the best actor, male or female, that I've ever seen in my forty years 5 stars
4/02/00 LucyB Wonderful movie. Makes you cry burt not for the usual reasons Includes VERY powerful scene 4 stars
3/25/00 Richard Wright One big slopfest which will appeal only to the romantic, the guillable or the infirm. 2 stars
10/26/99 KC The three-hanky weepie, deconstructed. Eastwood's direction is masterful. 5 stars
10/24/99 little jerry The Man With No Name finally falls in love.No wonder when the woman is Meryl. 5 stars
8/11/99 Alex Lee The best love romance I have ever seen,Streep is the best actress especially here ! 5 stars
7/30/99 Ditte Frederiksen It's the best film ever ! 5 stars
4/18/99 jimmy jam Very powerful love story. You gotta see it!! 5 stars
4/11/99 Tristynn ending was the most profound thing i've ever seen, I bawled yet again..hey, this is a trend 5 stars
1/24/99 Hannah At times, interesting. At times, achingly boring. Liked Streep, though. 3 stars
9/05/98 Badass I dug it. THe secene with the two trucks at the end is wonderful 4 stars
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  02-Jun-1994 (PG-13)


  12-Oct-1995 (PG)

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