Clint Eastwood directed and starred in this romantic drama based on Robert James Waller’s bestseller.
National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid (Eastwood) is a sensitive loner drawn into an intense love affair with rancher’s wife Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep) when he arrives in Iowa to take pictures of Madison County’s unique covered bridges.
The affair is recounted in flashback after Francesca’s death when her grown-up children discover a diary and realise how deeply affected their mother was by the experience.
Superbly adapted by Richard LaGravenese, Eastwood’s moving film avoids easy sentimentality in favour of a more complex exploration of family responsibility, marital fidelity and self-denial.
Beautifully photographed and directed with an intimate maturity, the film reveals its characters in an unhurried way, thus making the audience accomplices in the unfolding liaison.
Eastwood’s acting is competent, but it’s the impeccably accented Streep who really shines and she received yet another Oscar nomination.
Sarah Kathryn Schmitt