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Starring Jessica Lange, Gwyneth Paltrow and Johnathon Schaech
Written by Jonathan Darby and Jane Rusconi
Directed by Jonathan Darby
Website www.spe.sony.com/movies/hush/

IN SHORT: zzzzzzzzzzz

I've written it before and I'll write it, probably, until the day I day. First time writer/directors (who are usually w/d/producers as well) should hone their chops in the independent markets. They can't handle the big leagues and the big stars and we all suffer for it. I've got other things to rage about, too.

Cranky once saw Charlton Heston on a television program talking about the "props" of acting. He said the greatest prop for an actor was a cigarette in the hand. With it, the actor can make a point, kill time by sucking down the smoke or blowing it back in to your face; it can swirl and zip around in the sky diagraming flights of fance.

In the case of Jessica Lange's performance in Hush, it only serves to prove to the world that you don't smoke and are just "acting," and acting badly. Lange wiggles that cancer stick all over the screen in her perf as Martha Baring, the widowed perfect southern lady, and soon to be mother in law from Hell, who controls everything around her by putting words into other peoples' mouths (ie. Lying through her teeth). She poses, and struts, and uses that fine southern accent. Other than that, there's nothing to watch.

The widow Baring runs a failing Kentucky horse farm called Kilronan. Jackson (Johnathon Schaech), her one and only son has moved away to the big city (New York) to take a barely specified job (architect, I think). He's found a beautiful woman Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow) who also has some kind of unspecified job in architecture. Neither of 'em intend to marry or return to the farm. A mugging and a pregnancy change all that and it's "Hello!" to Kentucky.

As we plod through the first half of Hush, we don't learn much about the characters. Everyone is tres polite. There isn't a helluva lot to keep us interested as these characters fail to develop. Jackson is off with the horses. Martha is being way too attentitive to her son and Helen has very little to do, other than get extremely pregnant and flop around the farm. Though it's pretty to look at, the movie fails to build a strong conflict between the women. It fails to show that Paltrow has the strength to fight back against the MILFH's manipulations, and doesn't build any kind of terror or fright. There's some religious psychobabble inserted to give motivation as to why Lange is psycho. Ho hum.

Hush is not scary. It doesn't make you shift in your seats in fear. It made the two ladies behind me chorus simultaneously "This is stupid." What it is, in reality, is poorly written and directed by first timer Jonathan Darby and badly acted by Lange. Paltrow and Schaech don't have much to do.

That's all I have to say.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price for Hush, he would have paid . . .


Hush is a waste of time.

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