Marvin’s Room

Year: 1996
Director: Jerry Zaks
Cast: Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, Hume Cronyn, Dan Hedaya
Lovely look at family connections, how they get broken, reformed and rediscovered. After finding she has cancer, a woman (Keaton) calls on the hairdresser sister she never talks to (Streep) to help care for their stroke-ridden father (Cronyn, the Marvin of the title). She arrives with her kids in tow, both of whom have their own screwed up lives (DiCaprio is brilliant as ever playing hank, the kid struggling with an uncontrollable temper).

Bonds are forcibly remade against dramatic resistance between the sisters, while in the meantime she finds a special connection with Hank, who sees a world beyond the one his mother has given him.

DeNiro as the doctor is dependable, and while Streep is a bit hard to believe as the trailer trash wife, some of Hollywood's best talents fail to disappoint in what could have been boring in lesser hands.

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