Empire Falls

January 7, 2009

I just watched the first half of the movie Empire Falls and wanted to write down (type down?) a quote:

“Life is a river.  You can’t control it;  it goes where it must.”

Funny thing about this movie… Funny to me, anyway.   I read the book by Richard Russo and enjoyed it very much.      Wonderful characters, lots of good thoughts on life and what happens when you’re busy making other plans, that sort of stuff.     It’s set in one of those sad old New England towns full of the stereotypical sad people:   the kind chief of police and the deputy who is just a little too in love with his power.   The brooding high school kid who befriends the friendless and has an ex-boyfriend who is the class bully.    The mean old lady who owns the town, the wise lady bartender, the good brother with a past, etc and so forth.

Yet, it is such a great story.    And the movie is EXCELLENT.    How could it not be with this cast:    Ed Harris, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright Penn, Helen Hunt, Aiden Quinn, Dennis Farina (I LURVE Farina!) and many many other actors I recognize but can never recall their names.  (William Fichtner, Estelle Parsons, Jeffrey DeMunn)

Oh yea, that funny thing.   I have seen this movie before.    But I can’t recall when! Not until the opening scenes did I realize, “Hey, I’ve seen this.”    Or did I?    I haven’t had HBO (Produced for HBO Films) since living in Nebraska in the 90s;  I have had it in my netflix queue forever, it seems.     Just when did I see this?   It boggles me.

Or did I just so relate to the story when I read it that I put it all in my head?   And then found out that Paul and his lovely wife were going to be in it and that they filmed just a few towns over from where my Auntie lives.   And now it’s playing out so beautifully!    I don’t know.   I can’t figure it out.   2005 wasn’t that long ago!   I should remember this stuff.   What’s wrong with me.

Netflix delivers this on two discs.    The second half will be in tomorrow’s mail.  I hope.



  1. I saw Empire Falls when it first came out on HBO as sort of a mini series. I liked it a lot too. I didn’t read the book though. I can’t remember how long ago it was just as I can’t remember that much of the movie except that I liked it.

    Good! It’s funny that I thought I read the book in the 90s. It was published in 2002. HUH!?

  2. I’ve never seen this. It sounds good. Of course, I love Ed Harris, so that doesn’t ever hurt a movie either. 😉 I hope you get the second disk so you can update us on this.

    Actually, they made Ed up to look like a sad middle-aged tired guy. But yea, he’s a good actor, isn’t he!

  3. I loved the book as well, so was hesitant to see the movie…usually they fall into the ‘book was better’ category. Let me know if Part 2 is as good.

    Have you read Russo’s Straight Man? I LOVED that one. Highly recommend if you’ve not read it!

    Sure, I agree that most times the book is always better but sometimes, they are both good. This is a decent adaption. Russo wrote the script, which accounts for it, I’m sure.

    I’ve not read any more Russo but I WANT TO.

  4. Sounds good – let us know if the 2nd disc is interesting too.

    It came today – maybe I can watch it tonight. maybe

  5. I like Empire Falls, maybe it’s the Maine sitting, but it reminds me a bit of Dolores Claiborne.

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