How To Make An American Quilt

Not bad, at least as an excuse to bring together many of the best Hollywood actresses aroundAnne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, Samantha Mathis, Kate Nelligan, Winona Ryder, Jean Simmons, Lois Smith, and Alfre Woodardand, as an added bonus, Maya Angelou. Jane Anderson’s 1995 adaptation of Whitney Otto’s novel focuses on the summer a Berkeley graduate student (Ryder) spends with her grandmother and great aunt (Burstyn and Bancroft) while mulling over a marriage proposal from her boyfriend (Dermot Mulroney). Flashbacks spanning more than a century rub shoulders with present-day scenes of a quilting bee. The capable director here is Jocelyn Moorhouse, an Australian best known for directing Proof and producing Muriel’s Wedding. (JR)

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