Picks and Pans Review: Night Ride Home
If your movie memory goes back as far as 1980, Night Ride Home may put you in mind of Ordinary People. Like that Oscar winner, this Hallmark Hall of Fame drama shows how the death of a child can expose the fault lines in a marriage. There are signs of strain between Nora (Rebecca De Mornay) and husband Neal (Keith Carradine) even before their 17-year-old son (Jordan Brower) is killed in a riding accident, but after that tragedy the union threatens to break apart in an atmosphere of grief and recrimination. Their daughter (Thora Birch), 15, has divided loyalties and secret guilt feelings, while Nora's mother (Ellen Burstyn) tries to change an old habit of keeping her distance. Though it's a talky film which sometimes borders on the lugubrious, Night Ride Home is well-acted, observant and honest most of the way. But it lacks one of the qualities that made Ordinary People special: a willingness to confront the truth that family fractures aren't always fated to heal. Bottom Line: Involving ride falters at the finish
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