I recently finished reading the book "Ethan Frome", and I liked it, so when I found out that the film adaptation was on Netflix streaming, I decided to watch it quite optimistically. I was wrong to be so optimistic.
The film had a good score and good production design. When combined with other things, that's a good sign. For example, "Jaws" has a great score and has great cinematography, acting and storytelling; "Crimson Peak" has great production design and great writing and acting. When the score and production design are the only things complimented, however, that is a bad sign. That is the extent of what I can say that is nice about the film.
The acting of the film is awful, and I have seen these actors do better. Liam Neeson is great in "The Grey"; Patricia Arquette is great in "Boyhood". If this movie were released in modern times, the actors would be condemned to making B-movies or their careers would be over. They speak very monotonously in such a supposedly emotional film. They look like they are just reading lines, they show almost no emotion, and the emotion that they show is ridiculously fake.
The film had the potential to deepen the level of emotion presented in the book. Part of it is the acting as mentioned before, but part of it is the writing. The film rushed through and cut out some of the most emotional scenes from the book. The writing of the film is just garbage in general. It had some parts that were close to the book, however it felt the need to change the narrator, add an unnecessary (and goofy) subplot about a fox, and cut out the most philosophical chapter of the book. The book had a lot of elements involving the protagonist's moral deliberations, which were almost completely cut out in the film.
The reviews on the DVD cover (pictured above) even try to deceive the viewer! The 3 and a half star rating appears as if it were a four star rating to try to trick the viewer. To make things worse, the review is not from a particularly credible source for movie reviews, unless I am mistaken.
So the film "Ethan Frome" should be avoided at all costs. When producers and directors screened the film, all existing celluloid copies of the film should have been burned. Now, all digital versions should be destroyed and a real neuralyzer from "Men in Black" should be created and used on all people who have seen the film, therefore erasing all memory and record of existence of this film.
Big Tuna's Rating: F
How Did I Watch It?: Netflix.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Only if I were held at gunpoint, and even then it would be a struggle.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.