Carried Away

A crippled schoolteacher (Dennis Hopper) who’s waiting for his cancer-stricken mother (Julie Harris) to die before he marries his widowed childhood heartthrob (Amy Irving) is seduced by a 17-year-old student (Amy Locane), the daughter of a retired major (Gary Busey) and his alcoholic wife. Adapted by Ed Jones from Jim Harrison’s novel Farmer and directed by Bruno Barreto (Irving’s husband), this drama tries to imitate Badlands by using the same cinematographer (Declan Quinn), but it looks nothing like that masterpiece and is of no particular visual interest. Not only does it not do justice to its rural Texas setting, one can’t even be sure just when it’s supposed to be taking place. But the performances are sufficiently well modulated and sincere to inch this a bit beyond Peyton Place territory, and even if I can’t quite buy this movie’s (or is it Harrison’s?) notion of what teenage girls are like, the actors kept me interested; with Hal Holbrook. (JR)

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