Just when thoughtful adults despair that Hollywood will never again make movies for them to enjoy, Cider House Rules comes along and gives everybody reason to hope. From its wide, opening shot to its literary ending, this film delivers to its audience an old-fashioned, satisfying, movie-going experience while at the same time focusing on quite a surprising topic: abortion. Framed with Dickensian sympathy for all its characters, Cider House weaves its way in and out of the lives of half a dozen startlingly original people, many of them quite unusual for mainstream cinema. Michael Caine picked up the Oscar (he's a great actor but he's become a kind of beloved pet for middle-aged movie fans) as a drug-addicted humanitarian, yet Delroy Lindo gives the most haunting and complex performance as the black foreman of an apple-picking crew who loves his daughter too much. Tobey Maguire and Charlize Theron make this long film continuously watchable and even warmly sunny despite its repeated turns into dark material, and a gaggle of adorable moppet orphans keep tugging at the heart strings, but not so much you feel abused. A rare modern day classic. By "sprockets"
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