The Bridges of Madison County

1995

Action / Drama / Romance

111
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 87%
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 62712

Synopsis


Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 61,284 times
April 25, 2014 at 09:12 AM

Director

Cast

Meryl Streep as Francesca Johnson
Clint Eastwood as Robert Kincaid
Kyle Eastwood as James Rivers Band
Debra Monk as Madge
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
928.10 MB
1280*720
English
PG-13 on a
23.976 fps
2hr 15 min
P/S 0 / 3
1.96 GB
1920*1080
English
PG-13 on a
23.976 fps
2hr 15 min
P/S 1 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by xanadu-65205 7 / 10

Artful film about illicit,adulterous passion.

An artfully made film about illicit,adulterous passion between middle-aged , bored , restless , small-town housewife , Mrs. Francesca Johnson / Meryl Streep & a National Geographic photographer, Robert Kincaid / Clint Eastwood ; a bachelor on assignment in Iowa for a week , to photograph its covered bridges in 1965.

Although this film is portrayed as a great 'love' story- it is actually Francesca who takes the initiative to prey on an unsuspecting Robert and seduce him, with multiple offers to show him directions to a bridge he's searching for , later peeking at him through gaps in the wooden bridge , spying on him when he took off his shirt to wash up, invitations for lemonade at noon / dinner in the evening, when she's alone at home, going upstairs & tarting herself up with earrings for Kincaid's benefit.

Each time the current activity runs out- Francesca ingeniously finds a new way to prolong her discourse with Kincaid by further plying him with fresh invitations.

Robert appears genuine , friendly & genial and the two forge an instantaneous friendship.

After a daytime encounter in a diner with Ms. Redfield , the town's 'bad woman', where Robert Kincaid sees how another adulterous woman is treated as an outcast by the townspeople , Kincaid contemplates putting the brakes on his new friendship with Mrs. Johnson. Being an out-of-towner, Kincaid had nothing to lose , yet he was not an opportunist & was empathetic enough to ernestly caution Francesca against going out on a friendly day trip with him while he worked , so that she wouldn't get 'compromised' around town .But Francesca was too unethical & determined in her pusuit of passion , excitement & her plans to see Kincaid , no matter what ( even loosely purchasing a new dress to go out with him ) Neither did having a 17 yr old son, a daughter & being married for two decades to a good & honest man, Richard Johnson & backstabbing him ( while he was away for 4 days at the Illinois state fair with their children ) weigh too heavily on Francesca - who was so determined to live vicariously through Robert Kincaid, questioning him closely about his travels / exotic destinations / romantic trysts which seemed exciting to her in contrast to her dull Iowa farm life.By the second evening Francesca manages to attain her goal & sleep with Kincaid experiencing passion in her dull life. They drive out of town on further day trips & jazz joints etc .When Francesca's 4 days of being alone are almost up ( before her family returned ) she , without provocation , lashes out at Robert ( who was consistently genial & gentlemanly - for a man who's sleeping with another's wife ) angry that she had reduced herself to just one of Kincaids romantic trysts from around the globe . Her anger didn't stem from any post-coital , adulterous regret or guilt about back-stabbing her poor husband ; but from her insecurity about being a plain , uninteresting farm wife who lived in the middle of nowhere and her longing to be special to someone exotic like Robert Kincaid.After her unkind ( & uncalled for ) attack, Robert Kincaid , always the gentleman , doesn't respond in kind , but shockingly rises to the occassion , assures her that his association with her is special to him and puts his money where his mouth is by asking her to leave with him , risking his own heart , instead of taking a more convenient ' wham,bam, thank you Ma'am ' exit . Mollified, Francesca packs up to elope with Robert, feeling validated & special. On their final dinner in the house, after getting whatever she wanted from Robert , Francesca hypocritically decides that now, her husband , Richard doesn't deserve to be treated so badly by her & neither do her children . Robert Kincaid who could've left unequivocally after a passionate 4 days tryst enjoyed by both sides, now has risked his heart after the admission of love & offer to elope forced out of him by Francesca's abusive tongue-lashing from before.He leaves the house broken-hearted, telling her that she may change her mind after her family arrives & that he will still be in town for a few more days - where she may see him & decide to leave with him after all. In the end we see Francesca out shopping with Richard who is clueless about his two-faced wife , when she runs into Robert who's very painfully & heartbreakingly , waiting in the rain without compromising her publicly , waiting to see if she'll leave with him. In the end , Francesca was neither true to Richard nor to Robert - she just used both men.She cheated on her husband and broke Kincaid's heart. Richard Johnson dies years later , never finding out the truth about how his wife abused his faith & Robert Kincaid dies being true to his illicit & misplaced 'love' thus never giving himself the chance to find real,clean love in a legitimate relationship with an honourable lady . Apparently this wasn't enough for Francesca who , after her death leaves journals for her middle aged children to catch up with their mother's thrilling indiscretion . Francesca claims she's being honest with them but like an exhibitionist , includes unnecessary erotic details .The only good outcome from the illicit passion was that after reading the journals & reflecting on the contents, Francesca's two children take a second look at their own lives & troubled marriages , with the son deciding to repair his relationship with his long suffering wife & the daughter deciding not to be a doormat to a philandering, weak husband.

Reviewed by Andrew Judkins 4 / 10

A Bit Flat Due to Flaws

I finally saw this film after vaguely hearing about it for years. It was a little different than I expected within the 'Iowa housewife gets swept off her feet by a mysterious traveler' concept.

There seems to be an ideological split in the reviews of this film beyond the normal love/hate thing. It basically boils down to people who find the concept beautiful and romantic(as intended) and those who think all infidelity is repugnant and this film is a creepy justification for it. I'm not into those camps--I don't really like infidelity and yet the film has beautiful concepts and moments and maybe that can overcome the moral failings of infidelity at times. My bigger question is how does the film handle the concepts, material and characters?

The concept of the film is interesting. I was surprised how short the span (4 days) covered is and how intense things got in that time. That is hard to portray. Streep is so lauded that I guess I expected more from her. She emotes well in the waterworks scenes but... Little things bothered me. One is her accent (which seemed off) and the exotica of how she is Italian, living in what seems a numbing and strange land to her. I think it would have been more interesting if she was a 100% Iowan corn fed housewife who Eastwood's character still felt was exotic and sublime. Her Italian aspect makes the exotica and romance seem too easy, too expected, too asked for in the middle of Iowa. Her portrayal is also slightly dense and even charmless, at times. It doesn't gel with the wise, worldly sounding old woman in the journals pleading people to follow true love, even if in the afterlife. This has a way of not only being a bit dull (who wants to watch a film about a charmless women receiving undue attention?) but also making us wonder why Eastwood is so interested in her. It's not that we think about all his travels and think 'why HER?' like she does in the breakfast scene. It's that even if he hardly ever met women, only from a small regional area, it would still seem strange he was so taken by this somewhat dense and boring woman, a woman reticent to follow her passion (even when given the opportunity of a lifetime). Eastwood simply does his Eastwood thing, but it falls right into charming, authentic, independent minded photographer, and it is no wonder why SHE is interested him. The last problem with Streep's character is her history. We don't know anything about it. We just see she's in this marriage and family, and maybe not thrilled about it. The sacrifice she makes, the boredom she feels under the surface, the lack of true love that gets brought out by Eastwood's character are a bit hard to have empathy for. We are left to assume she chose these circumstances under willing conditions. So on some level the almost victimhood we are expected to buy into in order to cheer on the infidelity and true love in the film is difficult to buy into. Her problems are her own fault and at the core, she's simply unwilling to rock the boat and do anything to make herself more happy and this cuts back on some of the heartbreak and empathy we feel at the end of the movie. I felt it more for Eastwood's character (though it is confusing why he took so strongly to her, he plays it well, and it is clear he's heartbroken). But I think it needed to be a total two way street for the film to work right.

The bookend aspect of the kids learning about all this through things left after Francesca's (Streep) death is a cute idea to add some depth to the message of the movie. The lack of full development in the romance kind of demands a secondary element to enrich. But the acting is second rate and compared to Eastwood and Streep (even if it isn't their best work) it feels like parts of a Hallmark Channel movie pasted onto a real movie.

The whole Bridges/charming Iowa countryside thing is a hook, a fun setting framing device. But I did hope they would do more with it. The history and draw of the bridges isn't brought into the meaning of the film at all. The cinematography is not very interesting or expansive, and the actual film minutes dedicated to the surroundings are limited. In fact, the film feels claustrophobic, with much of it taking place in the farmhouse kitchen/dining room. We get only the most limited and cliché feel for small town Iowa life in the 1960's an how to a certain type of soul it would suck at the oxygen.

Overall, this is a more flawed and run of the mill romance than I was hoping for.

Reviewed by David del Real 10 / 10

A great movie that builds up slow to shape a touching love story.

Note: Most of my reviews contain some spoilers, but I always try that none of them can actually "spoil" any important surprise during the story, so you can read without worrying.

First of all I need to clarify mi title a little, when I say "that builds up slow" I don't mean like saying "even when it begins boring" or anything alike. The whole movie is completely enjoyable. What I mean by this, is that the creators took the time to introduce the characters to us without hurry, which helps us to become more involved with them later.

IMDb suggests to its reviewers to compare titles with similar ones. In this aspect I want to say that I think (as many persons do) that this is one of the best romantic dramas of all time. I want to say too that it is both my favorite Meryl Streep and my favorite Clint Eastwood movie so far. IMDb also suggest reviewers to recommend similar titles to their readers; in that sense my second favorite Meryl Streep movie is "Kramer vs Kramer" and my second favorite Clint Eastwood movie is "Gran Torino" and I am not sure if the third one is "Million Dollar Baby" or "The Unforgiven". Sorry, I still have no idea about which is my third favorite Meryl Streep movie, too many movies too different from each other to choose from.

OK, about THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY. Maybe its beauty comes from making an extraordinary love story happen to "almost" ordinary people. He is a photographer for National Geographic and she is and Italian immigrant born in Bari that lives in the county of Madison, in Iowa, USA. She is home alone while her family is away and he happens to arrive to her town to take pictures of the great bridges and landscapes. The story is actually told by the sons of Francesca (the Meryl Streep's character) when they find a letter let for them by her telling them their story. Its a narrative arc that makes you wonder how much people maybe YOU have met in life without really knowing them and their motivations for living.

At the moment of making this review, The bridges of Madison County is not included in the IMDb top 100 greatest movies of all time but I really believe it deserves a place there.

Thanks for reading.

IMDb Review by David del Real. Ciudad de México, México. September 2017.

Read more IMDb reviews

0 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment