Director: Karel Reisz (USA – 1985)
Karel Reisz’s unsentimental, biopic on feisty American country singer, Patsy Cline (Jessica Lange), follows her career from the smoky dives and honky-tonks of Virginia, and subsequent rise to stardom via hits such as ‘Crazy’ and ‘Walking after Midnight.’ Throughout, Reisz offers domestic glimpses of Cline’s turbulent second marriage to the whisky swilling, Charlie Dick (Ed Harris), her emotional dependence to an adoring but steel-cored mother (Ann Wedgeworth) and lastly, her untimely death in a plane crash.
The low budget, high gloss photography of the army quarters and sleazy bars where Cline gets her start, does little to distract from an excellent script and the volatile chemistry between Lange and Harris, whose performances are amply supported by Wedgeworth’s superb, provocative matriarch.
At the heart of ‘Sweet Dreams,’ lies a warm, uncomplicated story of a regular, working class family, whose central characters embody the rebellious vitality of Reisz’s pioneering, and better known British New Wave films of the 1960’s.
Time Out (London) – Issue 1904 – 14th March 2007 – 84