Serena Donadoni writes about film for the Metro Times. Not just in terms of eliciting desire, but in the earth goddess, we-are-the-womb sort of way. The title comes from an old tradition according to the movie where a man is forced under pressure to marry the woman he got pregnant, and therein lies the central theme of this story.
Well, they both have a wicked sense of humor… We forget, though, that just prior to these two films that played in both serious and comedic ways with notions of the Catholic Church, Gabriel Byrne portrayed a different kind of Catholic—one who struggles in a more down-to-earth way with his daily existence as husband, father, and baker: While the film suffers severely at the script level, Theresa Connelly isn't enough of a visual stylist to make Polish Wedding more than sporadically interesting. His priest, Father Andrew Kiernan, is a scientist as well as a priest, and a very questioning scientist at that. With her child-bearing years past, she has taken a lover, the bearded, long-tressed businessman, Roman, seductively played by that Serbian sex symbol, Rade Serbedzija. He ends, as Satan in End of Days, with a howl. Its story, which begins with Chala's overheated siren song to a young sailor, has a less persuasive quality. Marrying my husband was no mistake. We see a woman in her bra and slip and a woman in her bra while getting dressed. While the boys always obey her, her beautiful adolescent daughter, Chala Danes , proves strong-willed and independent. Hala, who is a high school dropout, becomes pregnant. In the end, it can only suggest that life goes on, brightly for the moment. Did I mention the gorgeous Mr. Jadzia, Sofie, and Hala drink shots of liquor while celebrating their common unmarried pregnancy bond and Hala's upcoming "Polish wedding. Jadzia, proud mother of a mostly male brood and an addict to pickles "peekles," she calls them , seems to be amused by her lot, though Chala's condition gives her pause. Even so, you may want to take a closer look at the content should you or someone else in your home wish to see this film. Perfectly capturing the concept of a woman who has made her family the focal point, as well as the pride and joy, of her life, Jadzia is always believable in her own way, and Olin delivers a great performance. In one scene, Jadzia and Sofie counsel Hala, describing the ways they've successfully forced men to marry them by becoming pregnant --"Polish wedding" is used as a variation of shotgun wedding! Still suffering from a painful birth, Sofie is determined not to have babies anymore, which of course irritates the matriarch. Spirited ethnic partying is not within the scope of this "Polish Wedding. He is also the best thing in End of Days. While some of the material -- in particular the adulterous affair and teen pregnancy -- might seem like depressing material, Connelly has wisely chosen to play everything with a light and whimsical touch and delivers several funny moments and bits of dialogue. While his Polish accent occasionally comes close to sounding too forced, Byrne otherwise gives a winning take on his easily sympathetic character. As the young woman who finds herself reliving her mother's life but still stirring up problems, Claire Danes "To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday," "Little Women" is occasionally outstanding in her role. It is hard to believe that Jadzia no longer attracts her husband, Bolek, a sad-sack, cigarette- smoking baker acted with rueful authenticity by Gabriel Byrne, who has subdued his Irish lilt and adopted a gutteral Eastern European accent. But their daughter, Hala Claire Danes , is trouble. What it lacks isn't just cohesion, but any real context for the baffling actions of its muddled characters.
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