Picks and Pans Review: Lucky Day
Chloe (China Beach) Webb plays a mentally retarded woman who wins the state lottery. Her older sister and caretaker, Amy (Field of Dreams) Madigan, is furious that this stroke of good fortune causes their mother, Olympia (Moonstruck) Dukakis, a recovering alcoholic, to get reinvolved in their lives as Webb's legal conservator. For most of the film, mother and daughter wage a bitter emotional battle, with Webb as the uncomprehending hostage in the middle.
The dramatic dice are somewhat overloaded with the twin issues of emotional dysfunction and retardation. But director Donald Wrye keeps this study of responsibility and resentment from getting too maudlin with a simple, honest, if sometimes stagy approach. The overamped scene in which Webb wins the lottery, for instance, rings jarringly false.
Terence (Tour of Duty) Knox shows unexpected sensitivity as Madigan's art teacher—lover. But then, the cast is uniformly good, especially Madigan, who can call upon more reserves of anger and pain than most actresses. She gives an Emmy-caliber performance here as an adult who cannot forget the pain her mother has caused her.