Cross Creek (1983) Poster

(1983)

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10/10
One of My Favorite Movies...
cwkoller55 March 2003
No, I don't think Cross Creek will ever be put up there with Kane or Casablanca, but for some reason I made a connection with this movie the first time I saw it 20 years ago, and it remains one of my favorite films even today.

Every creative person goes through the struggle to find their voice, and Cross Creek is about a city-bred writer who runs away to the country to live an ascetic life with her typewriter. She expects her isolation and alienation to "prod the muses" but instead finds these new people and this new land to draw her in until they and it become the soul of her writing.

The natural, understated tone of the film allowed for a human resonance I've rarely seen in mainstream Hollywood fare. And while Mary Steenburgen and Peter Coyote are perfectly fine, Rip Torn and Alfre Woodard's performances absolutely floored me. They respectively brought Marsh Turner and Geechee to life with such abandon and clarity, it's some of the finest acting I've witnessed on film, period.

I revisit Cross Creek every few years and it always holds up stylistically (Leonard Rosenman's score is timeless). Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings symbolizes America itself, in my opinion, so concerned with pleasing its own, yet progressively exposed to a foreign world that ultimately will shape its real identity.

It's a universally human story and, like I said before, I really connect with this little film, and appreciate Director Martin Ritt's courage in making it the way he did. I can't guarantee that others will necessarily feel the same way, but I always recommend Cross Creek to friends, be they creatives or not.
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7/10
Fine film
Judge808019 February 2005
'Cross Creek' (1983) The story of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and her life in the backwoods Florida town of Cross Creek after moving there from New York in the 1930's to continue her writing. I have been a visitor to her home in Cross Creek and even today the area looks like it probably did 60 years ago. Mary Steenburgen does a nice job as the independent, hard drinking Rawlings and Peter Coyote is fine as Norton Baskin, who eventually became her husband. Nicely photographed with a lovely musical score, 'Cross Creek'is a slow, easy going movie and the viewer will enjoy the people in Ms. Rawlings life, particularly the always steady Rip Torn and the late Dana Hill. An enjoyable experience.
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9/10
Engaging Semi-Biopic of a Great Writer
cchase1 December 2008
When this movie came out nearly twenty years ago, I was completely aware of it, yet avoided it like the plague. Why? Because it was in the Top Ten lists of most of the noted critics that year, and because of preconceived notions I had about critics and their 'lofty' reviews at the time. I am kicking myself soundly now for having done so.

For those few out there not aware of this remarkable film yet, CREEK is the biographical depiction of a period in the life of renowned author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, when she moved to a very rural area of Florida, became enamored of the place and its people, and was inspired during that time to write some of her best work, including the novel that defined her career, THE YEARLING. Mary Steenburgen's career was just starting to come into its own when she made this film, and her wonderful portrayal of the author as a strong, independent-minded woman at a time when being so was frowned upon is the movie's rock-solid center.

Complementing her are marvelous turns by Peter Coyote as Norton Baskin, the man who becomes extremely interested in Marjorie and becomes a big part of her life; Rip Torn and Dana Hill as Cross Creek natives Marsh and Ellie Turner, the father and daughter who (according to this version of the story) become the inspiration for Rawlings' best-known work, and Alfre Woodard, who was also early in her career, playing Marjorie's somewhat skittish yet steadfast housekeeper, Geechee.

Note must be made of all the actors in the small roles as well, as they all add to the ambiance of this quiet, almost serene backwoods community that Marjorie learned to call home, and where she did much of her best work. A particularly haunting part of the film is when she encounters a young backwoodsman named Tim (John Hammond) and his beautiful pregnant wife (Toni Hudson), who also become the basis of another important Rawlings' story, "Jacob's Ladder", which I am now determined to find.

John Alonzo's photography brings an almost magical feel to the swamp and marshlands of the region, and Leonard Rosenmann contributes a score that accents rather than interrupts the movie's flow.

Plus, there is a bonus in the form of an actor who was also an integral part of Steenburgen's personal life at the time, portraying Max Perkins, Marjorie's publisher. Fans of Mary will already know who I'm talking about, and it is a treat to see them together again after their previous film, TIME AFTER TIME.

I wouldn't call this a 'family' film per se, since the younger ones who might be disturbed by THE YEARLING or OLD YELLER will find this just as disconcerting. But for adults especially, seeking to escape car chases, exploding buildings or the latest adolescent yuk-fest, CROSS CREEK will come as a welcome respite...as soothing and comforting as Ms. Rawlings eventually found it to be.
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A Subdued and Wonderful Drama
darien31 November 2001
Sorry - but I have to strongly disagree with anyone who thinks this movie's boring. I think they've missed the point. The story is supposed to be reflective of the times in which it takes place. This is a VERY "laid-back," rural Florida. Although a "woman's story," in a certain sense, I admire the bravery that this "genteel" woman had - just as I admire anyone who "does their own thing." She took a LOT of chances in order to follow her desire to make something of herself - on her own.

I could go on about specific points in the story, but really don't have the time right now to do that - and, in any case, some others on here have already done that. What I will say is that this is one of the best "character studies" that I have EVER had the pleasure to see.

Perhaps we have become too accustomed to the continuous action-packed and often violent films of today for some viewers to fully appreciate a just plain good dramatic character study such as "Cross Creek." Perhaps we've become too used to the language in today's films: i.e. every other word being "the f word..." Maybe that at least in part accounts for how and why some might consider a just plain down-to-earth GOOD drama as being "boring."

Give it another chance - this time watching it without expecting a "thrill ride," but rather in studying the effort in acting which goes into each and every one of the characters in the story. I guarantee that you will then appreciate it a lot more, viewing it as I believe its creators intended.
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9/10
Rawlings, The Early Years
bkoganbing15 October 2008
Film fans best know the work of Marjorie Kiniston Rawlings through the adaption of her best known work The Yearling and the later filming of an original story for the screen in The Sun Comes Up. Cross Creek is our opportunity to look inside the mind and character of the woman who was the creator of these classics.

As played beautifully by Mary Steenburgen, we meet Rawlings during the Twenties as a woman with a passion to go to the land and a burning desire to write. She's been submitting potboiler romance novels to publishers who keep telling her to reach for her soul in her writings.

Steenburgen divorces her husband and moves to some Florida swamp land which she by dint of her own hard work and the help of neighbors, she turns into a decent patch for an orange grove. One of them, storekeeper Peter Coyote, evinces more than a neighborly interest.

It's her letters from her town of Cross Creek that excite Steenburgen's potential publisher, Malcolm McDowell, the simple lives and dignity of her neighbors with all their flaws. Especially neighbor Rip Torn and his family, they become the models for the characters in The Yearling.

Cross Creek earned Academy Award nominations for Rip Torn as Best Supporting Actor and Alfre Woodard playing a black woman who Steenburgen takes in and works for her. Cross Creek also got nominations for Best Music Score and Costume Design. Why Mary Steenburgen wasn't nominated for Best Actress is a mystery.

One really ought to see Cross Creek back to back with The Sun Comes Up which was Rawlings original work for the screen and was Jeanette MacDonald's last film. Seeing Cross Creek puts a lot of The Sun Comes Up in context with MacDonald's character and with how Rawlings is interpreted by Steenburgen. Both films will take on a new dimension if anyone has not seen the other.

Cross Creek is one excellent piece of film making about the genesis of a great American writer.
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Retreat in the Backlands
harry-7631 December 2002
Novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings took to the backwoods of Florida in 1927 to work on her literary projects.

She left behind a husband who was unwilling to relocate, and fashioned a working studio in the most rural of southern locations.

The trials she experienced, both creatively and physically, are depicted in this slow-moving, yet well-intentioned enactment.

Filmed in lovely Technicolor in Marion and Alachna Counties, Florida by John Alonzo, to the accompaniment of a lush score by Leonard Roseman, the movie attempts to capture Rawling's varied experiences in pursuit of her writing goals.

Like many films of true-to-life creative artists, one has little factual evidence as to the accuracy of this tale. The challenges Rawlings faced in attempting to first write her "Gothic novel" and getting rejected by a publisher, are carefully acted out.

Only when she changes her subject to that which she is actually experiencing there in Florida does her publisher accept the manuscript.

Since there's not much dramatic about a writer "pecking away" at a typewriter, the script finds other things to depict. When a local girl has an emotional "turn" involving a pet deer, and when the focus is on our heroine's saving her farm crops from devastation, another plot begins to be recalled.

One realizes this is the story of the woman who finally wrote the beloved family classic, "The Yearling."

The film version of that novel, after a failed attempt in the early forties with Spencer Tracy, was finally brought to the screen in 1946 by Director Clarence Brown, with Gregory Peck. That movie captures the essence of Rawlings' work, again in a beautiful Florida setting.

"Cross Creek" may perhaps appear to lack focus or be too deliberately paced for some tastes. At the same time, it has its heart in the right place in expressing Rawlings' unusual "artist retreat," as well as her steadfast dedication to her craft.

For those who think writing is easy, this may be a stark awakening as to the tenacity it often takes to birth a respectable literary work.
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8/10
Florida the way it used to be
lastliberal16 December 2007
I was inspired to revisit this classic after seeing Mary Steenburgen in Time After Time with Malcolm McDowell. McDowell had a small part in this film also as Rawlings' publisher.

Eighty years ago, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings gave up everything to move to Florida and write. She went as far away from everything as you could go. In the land of orange groves, cypress trees, and wildlife abundant, she found the inspiration she needed. This is her story.

It is peppered with colorful characters that lived in the backwoods of Florida, a place that hardly exists anymore with all the development. It featured outstanding performances by Rip Torn as her neighbor, Peter Coyote as the one who was trying to win her heart, Dana Hill as the young girl that inspired "The Yearling," and Alfre Woodard in one of her first roles.

Torn and Woodard got Oscar nominations for their performances.

One of the most impressive features of the film, other than showing the beauty of Florida that is long gone, is the respect shown for the land by Rawlings. Any Native American would be proud of her respect for the land.

It is an inspirational family film that is worth revisiting over and over.
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9/10
A Wonderful Movie
bama111122 August 2000
Assuming this movie is based on events in the life of the central character, I can only think that she probably was considered too genteel to exist in those surroundings, but apparently she did. I think too, that some, if not all, of the "colorful characters" referred to were real people. Do we want to change these people, and the way they were, just to try and make the characters more compelling than they actually were? If it ain't broke, there's no need to fix it. All of the actors have done an excellent job of bringing their characters to life, particularly Rip Torn. I'm just sorry it's taken me so long to finally see this movie. But, in my opinion, it was certainly worth the wait.
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7/10
This is North, Central Florida
maryvey17 June 2008
This is a gentle movie that reflects the pace of life for old Florida in a way that settles in my soul and brings back my childhood. Cross Creek looks deeply into a different lifestyle that actually still existed less than 50 years ago. In my childhood, Florida was a slow paced, slice of something that had ceased to exist else-country. Though the extremes may have seemed harsh, this movie captures the sweet taste of pre-Disney Florida, and the best part of the movie for me (even though I agree with the accolades for the acting, photography, etc.) is that Cross Creek is still there. You can go to Orange Lake and take a step backwards in time. This is my Florida, and I will always love it.
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8/10
lovely film despite flaws
paleolith28 October 2010
There's a lot in Cross Creek that's excellent. Several fascinating performances create well-honed characterizations of complex, sometimes-likable characters.

The visuals are beautiful, mostly shot on location in Cross Creek. It certainly evokes this part of Florida. (I grew up about 25 miles from the setting.) Some negatives lower my rating. But despite these, I still highly recommend the film.

Though many like the score, I found it mostly sappy, the only exceptions being the music created by the characters.

Summer never seems to come. Once we see MKR wipe her brow. We get no sense of the oppression of the summer heat and humidity.

But likewise, winter never seems to come. For goodness sake, when you're lighting fires to protect orange trees, that's because it's FREEZING! Those orange trees won't be hurt above about 25F. And freezing weather in Florida is normally accompanied by wind. This may not seem like much to those who live farther north, but it requires more serious clothing than most of the characters don. Yet none seem to notice that it's cold. And MKR's house wouldn't have been so well heated that she could sleep in that weather with only light clothes and covers.

It never gets muddy. The movie shows some torrential downpours, yet when the characters get back out on the roads and paths, it's all dry and neat. That doesn't happen in the swamp.

And it never seems to get buggy. We hear a couple of mentions of mosquitoes but mostly they don't seem like a big problem. People just sit and walk around with no sign that they notice.
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10/10
Beautiful and moving; a testimony to Marjorie Rawlings
NativeTexan5 January 2003
A beautiful and moving realization of the life of Marjorie Rawlings and the events which shaped her life and the lives of those devoted to her. She endured many hardships and was victorious over them, and was a friend to many who loved her dearly.
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5/10
Cross Creek was a laid back but enjoyable movie
ravmeltt9 February 2008
This movie was apparently made in 1983, and I can't believe this is the first time I've seen it. Many have commented that it is a pretty laid back movie, and I agree. But laid back is not necessarily a bad thing. I for one did not realize that Florida had such lavish greenery and beautiful creeks. The beauty of the landscape was very well shown, and I thoroughly enjoyed looking at it. As someone asked, would we want to change these people, to make the movie more exciting? No we wouldn't, because that is the era that the movie is depicted in, and laid back is what that time was. If one wanted to see an action packed movie, then one should have looked at something else, but this movie to me was truly beautiful, and it made me go further into looking at the biographical life of Ms Kinnan Rawlings. In this age of internet and people being able to freely write their criticisms, it is so easy for anyone to become a critic, and I think that some people have been very critical of Ms Steenburger, or Mr Ritt (I think he is the director) and the film itself. But how many of us if given the opportunity, could do as good or better. It is time to sit back and enjoy some of these laid-back movies, and remember a time that is long past, a time that we daresay we may never ever see again. Because in this age of killing, and swearing, and condos, and high rise buildings, it is wonderful to sit back and relax in a movie such as Cross Creek, and embrace a time long past and almost forgotten.

PS. I did not know Mary Steenburgen was previously married to Malcolm McDowell. Also, Alfre Woodard was so great in this movie that I found myself wanting to know more about the character she depicted, Geechee, but obviously nothing much was said about Geechee, even in Ms Rawlings' biography or autobiography of her. If anyone has any more info on that, would be great to hear it.
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7/10
Slight movie, saved by Rip Torn
bandw24 December 2007
This biography of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (author of "The Yearling") covers her early career from her move to the rural Florida town of Cross Creek until she found her voice as an author and began being published.

I felt Mary Steenburgen was miscast. To survive the hardships that Rawlings had to overcome in getting her dilapidated house in order and turning her orange grove into a successful operation would imply that she was a pretty tough woman, both physically and mentally. When we see Steenburgen pitching in to clear tree roots and logs from a waterway she moves and acts more like a demure woman who would be more comfortable in fashionable society, and when she expresses anger one does not feel daunted by it in the least - it's like she is just reading her lines.

Steenburgen's slight performance is unfortunate since the entire supporting cast is quite good and Rip Torn is magnificent in his portrayal of Marsh Turner, a feisty and colorful local. Torn breaths such life into the formidable but kindly Turner that I found myself just waiting out the times between his appearances. A woman of equal power to match Turner (as I am sure the real Rawlings must have been) would have raised this film above the average. Someone like Kathyrn Hepburn or Judi Dench would have been good for this part.

The photography of rural 1930s Florida and the lush bayous was well done, as were the period details of dress and autos. There are memorable and touching scenes, like the one where Rawlings' housekeeper Geegee (Alfre in a fine performance) comes close to leaving. And the scenes involving the yearling in this movie are tremendously more powerful than they were in the movie "The Yearling."

Why certain real life facts were altered that would have made the story more believable and interesting is puzzling. In the movie we have Steenburgen announcing at an upscale New York party, seemingly out of nowhere, that she is going to move to Florida to manage an orange grove and, if her husband does not want to come with her, then that's the end of the marriage. In truth she purchased the land using an inheritance from her mother and her husband moved there with her. In short order her husband decided he could not take it and went back to New York.

All in all I did not get a feeling that I got to know the real Rawlings and, for that matter, the person Steenburgen was playing did not seem real to me.
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5/10
Drifting along at Cross Creek
Greensleeves2 December 2007
This movie is rather a long haul as it lacks any narrative drive, there are no real dramatic highs and lows, it just tends to drift along at a far too leisurely pace. The performance are uniformly good but the script is often crass and, as the Director is striving for a natural feel, the actors often battle to make themselves heard against the elements and the sounds of wildlife. The biggest impression is made by Alfre Woodard who was Oscar nominated, counting towards four nominations for this film in total, which was a remarkable achievement. There is a good story to be told here and it is well photographed and nice to look at so if you're in a really laid-back mood you may well enjoy it.
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A film to for anyone to see...
Florida213 December 2006
...who is planning to move to Florida. This movie, and, Marjorie's "other film", the 1947 film, "The Yearling", give a very accurate impression of, as the State of Florida still refers to, "The Other Florida", which has nothing to do with theme parks, professional sports teams, condos, crowded highways, or strip malls - or even the beach - but, had everything to do with the exotic subtropical Florida wilderness, now lost to all but the Federal and State parks.

To me, both movies are so historically accurate, that, it's not difficult for me to smell the natural environment that surrounded the lives of those who lived among Florida's vast forests of that time.

Again, this and the '47 film should both be required for anyone moving to the state - at least I wish they would be mandatory, as it just might give a person a bit more respect for what Florida is really like...

Frank
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Great movie about people and life
akafocus11 August 2002
I found this movie to be an excellent. The acting is superb. The movie addresses real life issues in a delightful tale. There are no cars blowing up or gripping battle field heroics. Skip it if what you think a great movie needs is nudity and violence. See it if you like to face life and enjoy a deeper look at it...
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9/10
Life, simply
garymg9 June 2019
Orlando and disney aren't real Florida.

Most folks don't know it but Cross Creek is historically accurate. These stories are based on real people from a real place-this was real Florida. Cross Creek hasn't changed a lot in 80+ years since the story was written. A lot more people and homes but it's still one of the few remaining places which qualify as Real Florida.
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An unpleasant woman, this
jost-17 August 2003
Slow pace I can deal with, not to mention the heavy, heady atmosphere of the Florida swamps, beautifully evoked in this film. But it was harder to deal with Steenbergen's character, a woman with little tolerance for any other way but her own, stubborn, unpleasant and changeable in temper in a flash, who not incidentally seemed to hit the bottle at all times of the day and night (might explain the mood swings). The movie seemed to be championing Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings "modern independent woman" persona for a receptive 80's audience (no surprise since Hillary's pal plays the central role) and never any of the complexities of the character.
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6/10
Southern comfort
fmwongmd28 September 2019
Well told,well acted and well directed story about down south people and real feelings.
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7/10
Decide what you want to do and then DO IT, come what may
Wuchakk27 March 2019
In 1928, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (Mary Steenburgen) in her early 30s moves to a blindly bought orange grove near the hamlet of Cross Creek, in northern Florida, which is located on a strip of land between two large lakes (Orange Lake and Lochloosa Lake). There she hopes to find the peace and privacy to launch her writing career. Peter Coyote plays a hotel owner from a nearby town that becomes fascinated by Marjorie while Alfre Woodard plays her maid. Rip Torn is on hand as an eccentric backwoodsman with Dana Hill appearing as his daughter who befriends a fawn.

"Cross Creek" (1983) is a historical drama about the famous author of "The Yearling"; it's also part wilderness drama. Shot on location in gorgeous Alachua & Marion Counties, the film's worth watching just for the remote Floridian lushness. The theme is to die for as Marjorie DECIDES what she wants to do and then boldly (or stubbornly) DOES IT, come what may. Her first two short stories were published in 1931 and "The Yearling" in 1938, which won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction and was made into a movie in 1946.

The boggy locations are similar to those in "Frogs" (1972) and "Swamp Thing" (1982) while the topic and themes are reminiscent of "The Whole Wide World" (1996) and "Sounder" (1972). If you favor the latter two movies and appreciate the locations of the former two, you'll enjoy "Cross Creek."

The movie runs 2 hours, 7 minutes.

GRADE: B/B+
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7/10
Enjoyable whether you appreciate Rawlings or not
vincentlynch-moonoi1 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Although I've always been aware of Marjorie Rawlings, I never read one of her books. I did see the movie "The Yearling", but didn't care much for it. Nevertheless I rather enjoyed this film.

I know there's been a criticism that Mary Steenburgen didn't look like Rawlings. Well sorry, reviewer, Marjorie Main wasn't available. I think Steenburgen did justice to the story; I enjoyed her in the role.

Rip Torn, who I've liked at some periods in his career, and not liked so much in other periods, was darned good here. It's quite a different role for him, and yet he was rather convincing as a backwater hick.

I'm not much of a fan for Peter Coyote, but every once in a while he was rather pleasing in a film...and he is in this one. Dana Hill was quite a popular child actress, but I wasn't impressed here. She was okay, but nothing special. I was disappointed with Alfre Woodard. I rather like Woodard, and here I was unable to get a sense of her as an actress.

I enjoyed the setting here. My mother used to live in central Florida, and although I never had the desire to live there, I always thought "old Florida" was quite beautiful.

Marjorie Rawlings or not, I enjoyed this movie.
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5/10
Overcoming hardships in Florida backwoods...
Doylenf17 October 2006
MARY STEENBURGEN gives a nice, subdued performance as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (author of "The Yearling"), who relocates to the Florida swamplands when she wants isolation so she can concentrate on her writing. After difficulties in getting her Gothic work published, she decides to take her publisher's advice and write from experience about the characters she comes into contact with in her new locale.

There's a lot of regional flavor here and the color photography captures the mood and life style of the determined novelist as she sets about turning a hut into a habitable environment so she can pursue her work. As a story of a strong minded woman overcoming hardships, the film succeeds on its own terms.

This will probably have its strongest appeal for anyone familiar with the Rawlings work. One can see how certain incidents (the girl who loved her little fawn, for example), became part of "The Yearling".

Martin Ritt's direction brings the Florida backwoods scenes to life with some realistic performances from PETER COYOTE, RIP TORN and MALCOM McDOWELL (Steenburgen's real-life husband) as Miss Rawlings' publisher.

Summing up: A story of limited appeal, a bit slow moving with some interesting vignettes.
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My brief review of the film
sol-28 July 2005
The locations are great, the photography is fairly good, and the sound recording is realistic, however there is little else that is very positive about this film. Rip Torn delivers quite a strong performance, and Dana Hill has her moments, but the rest of the performers do nothing much, that including Steenburgen, whose character comes over as rather cold. The pacing is too leisurely to be enticing, and the film feels like it has a sugarcoating to it. The surface looks great, but it is not too deep, and therefore it is hard to speak of it as being anything better than ordinary. Ritt has done far better stuff in his time.
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7/10
Cross Creek is a beautiful place to be as cinematographer John Alonzo enchantingly captured in director Martin Ritt's 1983 film
ruby_fff13 August 2010
"Cross Creek" the 1983 Martin Ritt film tells the story of feisty author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, how she came to be attached to Cross Creek in Alachua County, Florida. The script by Dalene Young, based on Rawlings' own memoirs, along with engaging music by Leonard Rosenman, do at times seem like a Hallmark TV movie, yet a Martin Ritt film is never without poignancy, contrasting elements of conflicts and choice decisions. Thought-provoking drama, emotional highs and lows, not forgetting dashes of humor (be it in brief exchanges between key characters, or bemused scenes that'd elicit a smile from you) and jolting dark moments that's part of living - it's a Ritt movie, alright.

What a talented cast assembled: the Alfre Woodard's Geechie scenes opposite Miss Rawlings, played by Mary Steenburgen, gave us the exceptional camaraderie rare at such time and place of the '40s; the confrontational yet congenial Rip Torn's Marsh Turner encounters could be heart-wrenching at times and whimsical at another; the tender and vulnerable segments with Dana Hill's portrayal of 14-year old Ellie Turner facing her Pa (Rip Torn) over the keeping of the fawn (the yearling) are memorable; the simultaneously comfortable and contradictory feelings when Marjorie and Peter Coyote's Norton Baskin meet at their varying circumstantial moments - what a treat to watch their facial expressions and sensitive performances. The nuance acting did not stop with the four key roles, as the supporting cast that included Paul (Ike Eisenmann), Mrs. Turner (Joanna Miles), Tim's wife (Toni Hudson - the scene of Marjorie visiting her and the new baby did momentarily remind me of the 1979 w-d Victor Nunez' small gem of the film "Gal Young 'Un"), the Turner children, however small the role may be, had made "Cross Creek" whole.

The opening credits included a frame thanking Mr. Norton Baskin (Rawling's second husband who survived Marjorie by 44 years till 1997) for his assistance in the preparation and production of the film. In the 17-minute featurette "Cross Creek: A Look Back with Mary Steenburgen" on the DVD (distributed 2002 by Anchor Bay Entertainment and Studio Canal), when asked if the film was true in depicting Rawlings at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival, Baskin responded favorably, "it's as close as you can get." We see the various moods and aspects of Marjorie, be it tempestuous, headstrong, or sheer charming, especially when the subject is food and cooking.

And it is absolutely true, "Cross Creek" the film wouldn't have been (existed) if not for cinematographer John A. Alonzo's supremely enchanting camera-work. The bayou marsh vegetation scenes, the trees and reflections in the waters, the sky and clouds mirrored in the river surface, the natural nature scenes that are very much Cross Creek's own in the rain, wind and sun - we are blessed by Alonzo's cinematic artistry and craftsmanship. Excerpt quoting of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings': "Who owns Cross Creek? The earth may be borrowed, not bought; may be used, not owned; it gives itself in response to love and tenderness, offers its seasonal flowering and fruiting."

This is a guarantee of worthwhile viewing, indeed. As Mary Steenburgen pointed out in her featurette on the DVD, "Cross Creek" the film included a 'bonus' 20-second cameo appearance of Norton Baskin in person at the beginning (about 7 minutes into the film) - catch it if you can.
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8/10
Smart, clean depiction of early 20th century Florida
lrallen117 November 2002
Mary Steenbergen is at her best with this. Low key but strong willed woman with a love for the countryside and sense of what is right. She faces of with Rip Torn's gruff cracker over a pig, and he ends up inviting her to the barbeque. Heartwarming and heartbreaking.
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