Critic's Corner

Eric Brace - Weekend section, "Stupendously bad."

Desson Howe - for the Style section, "For most audiences, this bittersweet family saga is going to fell like an ordeal."

Read a Post feature about the playwright - Scott McPherson

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'Marvin's Room'

Scene from this movie Spinster Bessie (Diane Keaton) is bravely taking care of her slowly dying father, when she’s diagnosed with leukemia. She’ll need a bone marrow transplant, so, hoping for a match, she calls her sister Lee (Meryl Streep), whom she hasn’t spoken to in 20 years. Lee split when dad had his first stroke, leaving Bessie the burden of his care.

Streep, playing a nervous white-trash hairdresser-to-be, piles her two boys into the car and drives from Ohio to Florida for the marrow tests. Her sons -- the surly, troubled Hank (Leonardo DiCaprio), and the quiet Charlie -- have to get used to the idea of an extended family, while their mom stands around smoking and acting pissy. The reunion is predictable, as Lee and Bessie confront each other, along with their own guilt and anger. -- Eric Brace
Rated PG-13

Director: Jerry Zaks
Cast: Meryl Streep; Diane Keaton;
Leonardo DiCaprio; Robert De Niro;
Hume Cronyn; Gwen Verdon;
Hal Scardino
Running Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes
Filmographies: Meryl Streep; Leonardo DiCaprio; Diane Keaton; Robert De Niro