The Rain People
Saturday, May 20, 2017, 4:30 p.m.
Dir. Francis Ford Coppola. 1969. 101 mins. 35mm. With James Caan, Shirley Knight, Robert Duvall. Three years before earning his only Oscar nomination for The Godfather, James Caan teamed with director Francis Ford Coppola on this very different drama about a young married woman (Shirley Knight) fleeing from the weight of adulthood and obligation. Impulsively driving west from Long Island, she picks up a hitchhiking football stud (Caan) for what certainly seems like an erotic encounter, but quickly becomes something far more fraught and complex. While Knight goes through a full spectrum of emotions, Caan stakes out a crucially temperate middle ground, absorbing what others project onto him while internally and quietly sifting through what remains of a traumatized mind.
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