sallyArchaeology of a Woman starts strong with good intentions, but deteriorates so badly that by the end I was screaming for mercy and desperate to leave the theater.  (JLH: 2/5)

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The story begins with “Margaret” (Sally Kirkland) coming out of a grocery store in a suburban shopping center, unable to find her car. Thinking that her keys and car might have been stolen, Margaret returns to the grocery store, they call the cops and take her home to find her car sitting in her driveway. It’s clear that Margaret is very confused, so the police call Margaret’s daughter “Kate,” (Victoria Clark) who’s in the middle of screwing a guy in her apartment, and she takes her mother to the doctor the next day. After running tests, the doctor tells Kate that Margaret has dementia and is in the early signs of Alzheimer’s.

It’s all very good and touching and very real, but there’s so much ominous, hype-strung music with cross-cutting to TV news, showing that a body has been discovered and making Margaret have memories of a murder she committed 30 years ago. She apparently had an affair with somebody and buried the body and now suddenly, 30 years later, the remains of the body are showing up. The preposterous plot of Kate trying to live her life and caring for Margaret, cross-cutting with Margaret getting lost in her own fantasies is ludicrous. It plays out in confusing, appalling scenes that if I were to describe them verbally would sound like they should be moving and touching with the mother having feelings of loss and regret and the daughter trying to cope. It should be something that I can identify with because I’ve been there and done that, but it’s not. It’s very cheesy with bad acting and grating, annoying music. Instead of focusing on the details of this relationship, it cuts away to this business with this ridiculous murder. Basically, I hated it.

ArcheologyofaWoman_VictoriaClark &SallyKirland.preview

Review © Jan Lisa Huttner (9/29/14)

Top Photo: Sally Kirkland as “Margaret”

Bottom Photo: Victoria Clark as “Kate” and Sally Kirkland as “Margaret”

Q: Does Archaeology of a Woman pass the Bechdel Test?

Yes, but even though it passes the Bechdel Test, I still can’t recommend it.

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