While visiting a rest home with her husband, an unhappily married housewife (Kathy Bates) meets lively Southern octogenarian Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy) who tells her stories about Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson), a resolute relative who ran a café with her best friend Ruth (Mary-Louise Parker) in the Depression-era Alabama town of Whistle Stop.
Jessica Tandy won an Oscar nomination for her portrayal here of the old-timer in the American south, telling tales about the bigotry she encountered during her youth in the 1930s.
Bates is almost as good, playing the modern-day housewife and frump in the dumps, who finds inspiration in Tandy’s memories of the past.
Essentially a story about friendship between two pairs of women, then and now, it could be classified as an intelligent woman’s picture, but this truly uplifting and gratifying movie – based on Fannie Flagg’s best-selling novel – can and should be enjoyed by all.
Mary Stuart Masterson