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Rambling Rose Movie Review

coolidge ladd oscar actress

Martha Coolidge is among the best working directors in America today, and she should have received an Oscar nomination for Rambling Rose. One of the drags of the pre-Oscar media buzz is seeing a bunch of guys sitting around a table yakking about how fine directors like Coolidge aren't “ready” to be an Oscar nominee because it's Demme's “turn” this year (or Levinson's or Stone's) or anyone's but a smashingly talented, perceptive female director like Coolidge. Laura Dern and Diane Ladd WERE nominees for this extraordinary film that takes a sensitive look at Rose, a randy teenaged nanny who is threatened with a hysterectomy because a couple of men (Robert Duvall and the doctor played by Kevin Conway) are threatened by her sexuality. A sequence where Ladd's character stands up for Rose's right to be free of these judgmental meddlers is a highlight. Another is a very delicately handled sequence in which Rose's 13-year-old charge (Lukas Haas) learns more about what makes his nanny happy than he really has the right to know. Screenwriter Calder (The Strange One) Willingham adapted his own autobiographical novel. Filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina.

1991 (R) 115m/C Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Robert Duvall, Lukas Haas, John Heard, Kevin Conway, Robert John Burke, Lisa Jakub, Evan Lockwood; D: Martha Coolidge; W: Calder Willingham; C: Johnny E. Jensen; M: Elmer Bernstein. Independent Spirit Awards ‘92: Best Director (Coolidge), Best Film, Best Supporting Actress (Ladd); Nominations: Academy Awards ‘91: Best Actress (Dern), Best Supporting Actress (Ladd). VHS, LV, DVD

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