Archives for posts with tag: Shirley MacLaine

Richard Harris does so much static bloviating in “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway” (1993), I checked to see if it was based on a play. Alas, Steve Conrad had adapted his own short story. It’s an opposites-attract film in which Harris’ drunken Irish ancient mariner finds a friend in an introverted, retired Cuban barber played by Robert Duvall (Sandra Bullock and Shirley MacLaine provide support). Yes, Duvall plays an old Cuban man while Harris basically plays himself and yet somehow Duvall is more believable. While Harris chews the scenery, Duvall’s mannered nibbling makes you wish the film had been more about him.

Shirley MacLaine is pretty much awesome and Nicholas Cage is good when he has to play an actual character and not a “star,” so it was a foregone conclusion that “Guarding Tess” (1994) would be a decent movie. MacLaine is the president’s cantankerous widow and Cage is the stoic in charge of her Secret Service detail. It’s pretty much “Driving Miss Daisy” with no black people. (That’s a description, not a value judgment.) Dealing with mortality. Dealing with the fact that your calling doesn’t match your ambition. Plus some wacky hijinks. And the president is a George W. Bush premonition.