Variety - 12/16/1987
"...[The] film achieves an inner glow, enhanced by Lauro Escorel's cinematography..."
Los Angeles Times - 12/18/1987
"...Streep has constructed a character with a thousand tiny adjustments..."
Hector Babenco's bittersweet film, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by William Kennedy, stars Jack Nicholson as Francis Phelan, a drunken former baseball player running away from life and the painful, guilty memories that haunt him. Set in the winter of 1938, IRONWEED features Francis wandering the streets of Albany, New York, with his pal Rudy (musician Tom Waits) looking for odd jobs, cheap drinks, and flophouses. Meryl Streep costars as Helen Archer, Francis's longtime girlfriend and partner in drink. Together they lament the misery of life and ponder their tragic pasts, hoping to find a way to free themselves from their troubled lives--but never believing it's possible. Told in a series of drunken flashbacks, this dark portrait of depression-era hopelessness is a searing character-driven drama. Nicholson and Streep deliver painfully honest Oscar-nominated portrayals of two down-on-their-luck vagabonds moodily stewing in an alcoholic daze. The film, South American director Babenco's American debut, also features an excellent performance by Waits.
Set in Albany, New York, during the winter of 1938, IRONWEED follows the lives of two alcoholic wanderers as they cling to each other for friendship and courage.
Character Study |
Substance Abuse |
Filmed on location in Albany and upstate New York.