Director: Lasse Hallström Cast: Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Delroy Lindo, Paul Rudd, Michael Caine, Jane Alexander, Kathy Baker, Erykah Badu, Kieran Culkin, Kate Nelligan, Heavy D, K. Todd Freeman, Paz de la Huerta, J.K. Simmons, Evan Parke, Erik Per Sullivan, Spencer Diamond
Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Michael Caine); Best Adapted Screenplay (John Irving)
Also Nominated For: Best Picture; Best Director (Lasse Hallström); Best Art Direction-Set Decoration; Best Film Editing; Best Original Score (Rachel Portman)
I First Saw In: 2015
Synopsis: A compassionate young man, raised in an orphanage and trained to be a doctor there, decides to leave to see the world.
Quotables: DR. LARCH: She died of secrecy. She died of… ignorance. Homer, if you expect them to be responsible for their children, you have to give them the right to decide whether or not to have children.
And now a Word from the Guise:
Taking place during a time when abortions were illegal, this is a very important film, still to this day. Dr. Wilbur Lorcher (Michael Caine) secretly performs abortions for women so that they will not be forced to do it themselves or have some unskilled “street doctor” do it for her, which could ultimately cause severe harm to her, or could even result in death. Dr. Lorcher’s protégé, Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire), finds his moral compass at odds with Dr. Lorcher. Despte Dr. Lorcher’s insistence that the services they provide for these women is of the utmost importance, Homer refuses to perform them. He decides that perhaps medicine is not the field he wants to work in, and leaves the orphanage for the first time to work on an apple orchard.
I was wary at this point that the film was going to turn into propaganda for anti-abortion legislation, but then Homer finds himself in a situation that challenges his moral compass. One of them women who works on the orchard finds herself pregnant with an unwanted child. Though Homer won’t perform the abortion himself, he suggests that she goes to Dr. Lorcher instead of doing it herself. However, (without divulging too much information) after Homer discovers the secret behind her pregnancy, he agrees to perform the abortion, realizing that it is what’s best for her.
I am a feminist, an advocate for female autonomy, and I will say again: this film is very important. No one (especially a man) has the right to deny a woman the right to have an abortion. If you disagree, if you advocate pro-life, let me leave you with this thought to ponder: are you, personally, going to pay for a woman’s expenses for having a child: giving birth and the cost to raise the child? Or would you pay for all of the adoption fees should the woman decide to go that route?
Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233