The Myth of Fingerprints

Noah Wyle, Julianne Moore, Michael Vartan

Directed by Bart Freundlich
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
September 17, 1997

Family wounds cut deep in this over earnest but promising debut film from writer and director Bart Freundlich, who yields the secrets of his characters slowly but with uncommon subtlety and grace. The outstanding cast includes Noah Wyle, branching out from TV's E.R. with admirable restraint. Wyle is strikingly good as Warren, the son who visits his dad, Hal (Roy Scheider), and his mom, Lena (Blythe Danner), in Maine for the first time in three years. "It's been long enough," Warren tells his shrink, "that I can't quite remember that I shouldn't go."

Hal, a misanthrope, is hardly delighted to see his clan for Thanksgiving. Son Jake (Michael Vartan) tows along the outspoken, sexually avid Margaret (Hope Davis). Daughter Mia (Julianne Moore) brings Elliot (Brian Kerwin), a therapist boy toy. The extraordinary Moore finds the pain and terror behind Mia's wounding wit, as daughter Leigh (Laurel Holloman) hits on Elliot and Warren woos lost love Daphne (Arija Bareikis). This engrossing blend of humor and heartbreak only hints at the causes, from betrayal to child abuse, of this family's dysfunction. Hang on. Attention is richly rewarded.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories


    The Commodores | 1984

    The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

    More Song Stories entries »