A good excuse for leaving home

October 31, 1997|By John Hartl | John Hartl,SEATTLE TIMES

One of a season of Thanksgiving-reunion movies, writer-director Bart Freundlich's debut, "The Myth of Fingerprints," is a sharply etched variation on a familiar theme: You can't go home again.

Nothing spectacular happens during the course of this get-together, or at least nothing spectacular is acknowledged in this tense family, which prefers not to notice when a crisis is approaching. But Freundlich's screenplay keeps the tension and humor flowing as an unpleasant secret is unearthed and ignored, one affair dies and another is rekindled.

The standouts in a terrific cast are Julianne Moore ("The Lost World") as a spiteful daughter and Noah Wyle ("ER") as her suffering brother, who sets the tone with his cautious opening comments on the weekend that's in store.

"It's been long enough that I can't quite remember why I shouldn't go," he says. Anyone who's ever dreaded a family reunion knows what he means.

'The Myth'

Directed by Bart Freundlich

Stars Julianne Moore, Noah Wyle

Released by Sony Classics

Rated R (language, subject)

Sun score: ***

Pub Date: 10/31/97

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