'The Cider House Rules': Great To Be Nominated

Tobey Maguire in The Cider House Rules

Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron in The Cider House Rules

Lasse Hallström's 1999 Best Picture nominee The Cider House Rules will be the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Great To Be Nominated” series. The somewhat controversial drama will be screened on Monday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Following the screening, producer Richard Gladstein, actress Kathy Baker, Oscar-nominated film editor Lisa Zeno Churgin, and co-producer Alan C. Blomquist will take part in a discussion about the film.

Erykah Badu, Charlize Theron in The Cider House RulesWritten by John Irving (from his own novel), The Cider House Rules follows a young man (Tobey Maguire) in 1940s New England, where he becomes an apprentice to an alcoholic doctor-cum-abortionist (Michael Caine). Hallström, with the assistance of cinematographer Oliver Stapleton, creates some beautifully subdued compositions that are hard to find in Hollywood productions. Missing from the film, however, is a beating heart, for Maguire is incapable of fully conveying his character's ethical and emotional dilemmas.

Paul Rudd, who has a small but effective role as a soldier, is the one who should have been the film's lead. Also in the cast: Charlize Theron, Delroy Lindo, Erykah Badu, Kate Nelligan, Jane Alexander, and Kieran Culkin.

As a result of its pro-"right to have an abortion” stance, The Cider House Rules offended countless right-wingers and the religiously devout who opted to focus on one incident while ignoring the story's manifold complexities. In fact, one Catholic clergyman I know was disgusted by both the film and “Liberal Hollywood” in general. That's the best recommendation I can give for The Cider House Rules.

The Cider House Rules earned seven Academy Award nominations, winning Oscars for Actor in a Supporting Role (Caine) and Writing – Screenplay based on material previously produced or published (Irving). The film also received nominations for Best Picture (Gladstein, producer), Art Direction (David Gropman; Set Decoration: Beth Rubino), Directing (Hallström), Film Editing (Churgin) and Music – Original Score (Rachel Portman).

Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby's Oscar-nominated animated short When the Day Breaks will be screened prior to the feature.

Michael Caine, Tobey Maguire in The Cider House Rules

Passes for part five of “Great To Be Nominated” are $30 for the general public and $25 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Including The Cider House Rules, there are 10 films remaining in the series. A $5 discount is available for those who wish to renew their passes from parts one, two, three or four of the series. Individual tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Passes and tickets may be purchased online at www.oscars.org, by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the screening when the doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Curtain time for all features is 7:30 p.m., and pre-show elements will begin at 7 p.m. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.

Photos: Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library



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1 Comment to 'The Cider House Rules': Great To Be Nominated

  1. Kenny Grant

    Beth Rubino did an awesome job on this film, hats off