Flowers in the Attic

2014

Action / Thriller

2
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 6888

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Heather Graham as Corrine
Kiernan Shipka as Cathy
Ellen Burstyn as Grandmother
Dylan Bruce as Bart Winslow

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by suzanneoxford 4 / 10

Disappointing remake of Flowers in the Attic.

I have read the book, Flowers in the Attic. This is a Gothic type mystery where children were locked up in the attic not to be seen. V.C. Andrews was able to convey a dark and sinister atmosphere with Olivia Foxworth being a truly evil grandmother, showing them absolute contempt. Heather Graham portrays their mother, who becomes bored with her life and pursues a man who is supposedly their grandfather's attorney. She stays gone for long periods of time and brings back gifts which are supposed to compensate for her absence. Heather Graham is not right for this part. She comes across as rather vacant and bored, but does not project a sense of evil, which is well demonstrated in the novel. Ellen Burnstyn is an excellent actress and there is no doubt that she can barely tolerate her newly acquired grandchildren. She gives a fantastic performance.

There are gaps in this movie and the viewer is left wondering exactly why the daughter of Foxworth was alienated from her family. Heather does not even come across as a mother, but more like a best friend to her children. But maybe that is the intended effect. She obviously is not interested or does not care about their well-being.

Also in the book VC Andrews was able to convey a sense of anxiety and claustrophobia as the children feel suffocated from living in such close quarters with no freedom. You can feel their sense of doom and emotional deprivation, as they slowly realize that they are in a sort of prison and may never get out. The director, Chow does not give the viewer this feeling of doom. If there is a sense of frustration and anxiety with their surroundings, it is mild discontent compared to what the book shows. Without this psychological drama, it greatly diminishes the sense of doom, which Gothic novels are big on portraying.

I would not watch this movie again. I had a hard time following it and in a way kind of boring.

Reviewed by suzanneoxford 4 / 10

Good...But Could've Been Great

I have read the book, Flowers in the Attic. This is a Gothic type mystery where children were locked up in the attic not to be seen. V.C. Andrews was able to convey a dark and sinister atmosphere with Olivia Foxworth being a truly evil grandmother, showing them absolute contempt. Heather Graham portrays their mother, who becomes bored with her life and pursues a man who is supposedly their grandfather's attorney. She stays gone for long periods of time and brings back gifts which are supposed to compensate for her absence. Heather Graham is not right for this part. She comes across as rather vacant and bored, but does not project a sense of evil, which is well demonstrated in the novel. Ellen Burnstyn is an excellent actress and there is no doubt that she can barely tolerate her newly acquired grandchildren. She gives a fantastic performance.

There are gaps in this movie and the viewer is left wondering exactly why the daughter of Foxworth was alienated from her family. Heather does not even come across as a mother, but more like a best friend to her children. But maybe that is the intended effect. She obviously is not interested or does not care about their well-being.

Also in the book VC Andrews was able to convey a sense of anxiety and claustrophobia as the children feel suffocated from living in such close quarters with no freedom. You can feel their sense of doom and emotional deprivation, as they slowly realize that they are in a sort of prison and may never get out. The director, Chow does not give the viewer this feeling of doom. If there is a sense of frustration and anxiety with their surroundings, it is mild discontent compared to what the book shows. Without this psychological drama, it greatly diminishes the sense of doom, which Gothic novels are big on portraying.

I would not watch this movie again. I had a hard time following it and in a way kind of boring.

Reviewed by wes-connors 6 / 10

Blond on Blonde

An idealized, idyllic and seemingly wealthy 1950s family of six is suddenly hit with great tragedy. Stripped of their material goods, the family must move into an isolated Gothic mansion. In Virginia, "Foxworth Hall" matriarch Ellen Burstyn (as Olivia) gives them a frosty welcome. She insists the "four beautiful children with blonde hair and porcelain skin" must live in the attic, because their ailing grandfather disapproves of their existence. Conniving mother Heather Graham (as Corrine Foxworth-Dollanganger) hopes to inherit her father's estate, but must keep her children a secret until the old man dies. Increasingly neglected in the attic, the eldest children struggle to care for the younger twins as skeletons fall out of the mansion's closets...

Ending with awkward abruptness, this is the first in a series of "Lifetime" TV movies based on Virginia C. Andrews' popular stories. A previous feature film cut subplots involving incest from the story, but this version includes the incestuous feelings. The "taboo" subject was an important part of the original novel, but it doesn't translate well. When we first see two of the characters in question, they have clearly experienced the "body changing" developments latter referred to in the script. They talk about school and appear at a well-attended party (unlike the novel). Since sexual interest has begun, their attraction is more difficult to accept. In most school settings, the top physical condition of these two would not go unnoticed by most classmates...

Attractively proportioned co-stars Kiernan Shipka (as Cathy) and Mason Dye (as Christopher) handle the leading roles better than expected. Still, when he gives her a cool "punk" hairstyle, we wonder who cuts and shaves Mr. Dye's always neatly trimmed hair. The young stars and director Deborah Chow excel in reaction shots. In the supporting roles, Ms. Graham and Ms. Burstyn are engaging. Graham's character is cast to the wind, unfortunately; to really impress, she needed a couple more scenes. Possibly at her own insistence, Burstyn's character is more fully realized; this actress brings something extra to the role and is more intuitive about the medium. The six producers had to be happy with art/set direction and Miroslaw Baszak's photography.

****** Flowers in the Attic (1/18/14) Deborah Chow ~ Kiernan Shipka, Mason Dye, Ellen Burstyn, Heather Graham

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