6.7/10
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54 user 43 critic

Postcards from the Edge (1990)

A substance-addicted actress tries to look on the bright side even as she is forced to move back in with her mother to avoid unemployment.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joe Pierce
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Grandma
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Grandpa
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Simon Asquith
Gary Morton ...
Marty Wiener
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Julie Marsden (as C.C.H. Pounder)
Sidney Armus ...
Sid Roth
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...
Carol
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Storyline

Substance-addicted Hollywood actress Suzanne Vale is on the skids. After a spell at a detox center her film company insists, as a condition of continuing to employ her, that she live with her mother Doris Mann, herself once a star and now a champion drinker. Such a set-up is bad news for Suzanne who has struggled for years to get out of her mother's shadow, and who finds her mother still treats her like a child. Despite these problems - and further ones involving the men in in her life - Suzanne can begin to see the funny side of her situation, and it also starts to occur to her that not only do daughters have mothers, mothers do too. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Having a wonderful time, wish I were here.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Recuerdos de Hollywood  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$37,963,281 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Janet Leigh greatly wanted to play the role of Doris Mann with her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis as Suzanne Vale. See more »

Goofs

The Texas flags on the set of Suzanne's country video are displayed incorrectly. The state code since 1933 says the red stripe should be on the right side when the flag is hung on a wall vertically. Both flags visible in this scene have the red strip on the left side. See more »

Quotes

Lowell: You know, you're not going to get a lot of sympathy. Do you know how many people would give their right arm to live your life?
Suzanne: But that's the problem. I can't feel my life. I look around me and I know so much of it is good. But it's like this stuff with my mother. I know that she does these things because she loves me... but I just can't believe it.
Lowell: Maybe she'll stop mothering you when you stop needing mothering.
Suzanne: You don't know my mother.
Lowell: I don't know your mother, but I'll tell you something. ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Hetty Wainthropp Investigates: Widdershins (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Still Here
Written by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Shirley MacLaine
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User Reviews

Mike who?
4 September 2004 | by (Pittsburgh, PA) – See all my reviews

Postcards From The Edge is one of my all-time favorites. It's a truly addictive movie that's always funny and touching no matter how many times I see it. Some of the criticism I've read have always seemed just a tad off base, particularly the ones that say that Streep never seems to get a handle on her character--she just acts kind of comically frazzled. Well I think that's the point, isn't it? Streep as Fisher doesn't know what she wants or who she is, and while trying to discover these things, she must battle her drug dependence, rebuild her career against all odds and hope, in addition to trying to reconcile her relationship with her outlandishly domineering mother, who just happens to be a legendary star with issues of her own. In this scenario, "frazzled" would seem to be the way to go.

In any case, those who have commented positively on the movie have mostly mentioned the great performances (as well as Carrie Fisher's wonderful screenplay), and rightly so since this is one the most smartly acted (and well-written) movies you will ever see. But it seems strange that the outstanding direction of Mike Nichols is rarely mentioned. I remember one Oscar ceremony when a producer whose movie had just won Best Picture, and, indeed, swept all the major awards--except Best Director--said "apparently the Academy thinks that the actors directed themselves." It would seem that many of the viewers of Postcards From The Edge think the same thing. In my opinion, Nichols doesn't get enough credit for the seamless way this movie moves or for the crispness of the comic timing. At every turn, he brings out the best in his actors, most especially in the dynamic scenes involving Streep and McLaine. I also love the way he shows, through shifting background effects, how movie illusions are created, which he further uses to illustrate how we often hide our true motivations. (The great example of this is in the scene on the lot with Streep and Dennis Quaid where he was trying to convince her he has always been sincere in his feelings for her--and maybe they should even marry. Then suddenly the background, a house and white picket fence cardboard front, is moved away by a production crew.)

This is a wonderfully entertaining movie, brilliantly acted and written and, yes, superbly directed.


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