Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Suzanne Schreiner & r & & r & Big Love & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & F & lt;/span & or suburban Salt Lake City polygamist Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton), his Big Love wraps a wide embrace around three wives, three mortgages and every possible kind of trouble. Yes, he visits a different wife every night, but the middle-aged patriarch needs a handful of Viagra just to keep up the pace.





First wife Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn), manipulative Nicky (Chloe Sevigny), and puppy-like Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin) are willing "sister wives": no teenage concubines here. If anyone is oppressed, it's Bill, trying to remember whose bed he should be in, whether his passionate trysts with Barb at the local motel constitute an affair, and how he will escape the financial stranglehold of Roman Grant (Harry Dean Stanton), the ruthless, scheming, polygamist patriarch (he has a teenage wife) whose followers live in squalor as he pursues his shady deals. Oh, yes, he's also Nicky's father.





Because Bill owns a couple of prosperous home improvement stores, he can almost afford his seven children, the car that Margene is whimpering for, and the boatload of credit card debt that Nicky is secretly harboring. Nicky calls Barb "Boss Lady" because as Bill's 'official' wife she manages the finances of the family and is the arbiter of disputes among the wives. She works as a teacher, too, which gives her a kind of independence Nicky and Margene lack. Back at Roman's remote compound, Bill's father, Frank (Bruce Dern), an unrepentant old goat given to peeing in the kitchen sink, and his raging, wacko mother, Lois (Grace Zabriskie), heap abuse on one another and relish the feud they have pursued for years. It's a lively bunch.





HBO has done another off-kilter, well-written turn on the American family that succeeds because the Henricksons are not the subjects of winks or sniggering. Instead, they are played by the talented cast as sincere believers who are trying to live a life that neither their suburban neighbors nor the mainstream Mormon Church are prepared to tolerate. The church fears that the evil of polygamy, outlawed in 1890, may be trivialized by the show. Well, this is television, not a documentary. But any viewer seeing Bill Henrickson plot his tricky course knows that Big Love is Big Trouble. Watching him, however, is Big Fun.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Game Changer
  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • In Contempt
  • In Contempt

    A Spokane judge rules that the mental health system has willfully failed to follow evaluation deadlines
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Never Again
  • Never Again

    Washington state lawmakers push reforms after last July's murder-suicide; plus, Spokane's police ombudsman is leaving
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular

Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular @ Riverfront Park

Through Jan. 1, 2015

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • Screw Big Cities

    A mid-sized manifesto
    • Dec 3, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation