The Wingo family have hard a difficult life and have a lot of secrets, these are all about to come out . . .
Tom Wingo has a very strained relationship with his wife Sally, this is how the films starts and it is a little bit strange I will admit. I had no idea about the story behind this film before watching it. Tom is a very interesting character who uses humour to hide his feelings and what he is thinking. That is until he meets Susan Lowenstein his sisters psychiatrist, who is trying to figure out why Savannah tried to take her own life, something that she has tried to do before.
Tom does not have a fantastic relationship with his mother Lila who he even calls by her first name. It takes quite a bit of time to understand why he hates her so much. We get snippets of his childhood in flashback form as he recalls events which would have been difficult for Savannah, who is not only his sister but his twin. How they grew up with older brother Luke, and eventually recalling a truly horrific event. Which I will admit nearly had me in tears and I didn’t want to hear anymore, that scene really hits so many nerves it’s rather traumatic.
As he has moved to New York until Savannah recovers, Tom has to also deal with Sally finding another man and pretty much ready to leave him due to his stand off-ish nature. Something I struggled to get around as considering they have three kids one of which must be about 12 years old, surely she has been with him long enough to know that is how he has always been?
Not only does he talk to Susan and open up to her they both fall in love with each other as well. Having a fantastic yet short time together. So many more little things happen during the course of the film, but I don’t want to spoil anything from this complex tale. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected and still been thinking about parts of it a couple of days later.
Performance wise Nolte does well to play Tom as a man who has so many issues that he was calm one second and raging with anger in the next second. The chemistry with Streisand who also directed the film is believable and very good. I haven’t seen a massive amount of her work, but I thought she was pretty likeable in this film.
The love story takes the edge off some of the very serious and horrible parts of Tom’s life. This along with Tom training Bernard to play (American) Football as well, some of those scenes are lovely as well, building the man back up again. It also gives you hope that no matter what happens in life that you can get through things and move on from them if you are willing to accept what happened inside of trying to bury it in your mind, as that will just eat away at you.
I am not really sure that I would recommend this film as it is a difficult one to watch but I liked how it was put together and how it moved at a good pace from start to finish. Building up the suspense and wondering what was going to be the key awful childhood event. I will also add that I found the ending to be very bittersweet.