The Grass Harp

I haven’t read Truman Capote’s early autobiographical novel since my teens, and it’s possible that it was too cute for words in the first place, but this adaptation by Stirling Silliphant and Kirk Ellis, directed by Charles Matthau (son of Walter, who costars), must be even cuter. A lot of welcome if obvious care has been taken with period detail (a small southern town in the 40s), but the difference between this movie and Terence Davies’s The Neon Bible is the difference between plastic and crystal. Despite an impressive castEdward Furlong, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Nell Carter, Roddy McDowell, Mary Steenburgen, Charles Durning, and Joe Don Baker, and Jack Lemmon in a fancy turneveryone is encouraged either to overact or to resemble a stuffed animal, and the music is as drippy as molasses. (JR)

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