Miss Firecracker

In his first feature, TV director Thomas Schlamme films Beth Henley’s own adaptation of her play The Miss Firecracker Contest, with Holly Hunter (Broadcast News) re-creating her stage role as Carnelle Scott, determined to follow in the footsteps of her cousin Elain (Mary Steenburgen) and win the local Miss Firecracker Contest on July Fourth in Yazoo City, Mississippi; Tim Robbins plays another cousin who turns up before the event, an aspiring poet named Delmount. Schlamme has some intermittent problems in establishing a rhythmthere are a number of inconclusive and slightly awkward fade-outs at the ends of certain scenesbut the first-rate cast, which also includes Alfre Woodard and Scott Glenn (both at their best), helps considerably, as does the location shooting. (JR)

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