Flowers in the Attic (2014) **
D: Deborah Chow
C: Ellen Burstyn, Heather Graham, Kiernan Shipka, Mason Dye, Ava Telek, Maxwell Kovach, Dylan Bruce, Chad Willett, Beau Daniels
P: Based on V.C. Andrews' controversial cult-classic novel, "Flowers in the Attic" tells the story of the Dollanganger kids who, after the unexpected death of their father, are coerced to stay hidden in the attic of their ruthless grandmother.
Review: In trying to appease fans that were disappointed with the 1987 adaptation, this version of Flowers in the Attic tries to stay truer to the source material the best that in can within the confines of a made for TV movie. So how does this version measure up? Let's take a look.
Kiernan Shipka, Mason Dye and Heather Graham are well cast. They genuinely look like the living embodiment of the characters in V.C. Andrews novel. Ellen Burstyn, while not as effective as Louise Fletcher in the 1987 adaptation, is none the less interesting to watch playing the heavy. Burstyn goes for the theatrics when the script calls for it, but at times, tries to inject humanity into her character so that her performance doesn't completely disintegrate into something caricature ish.
Let's be honest as well. The material is dealing with things that are taboo and that gives it a perversely entertaining quality, even when the film trips up and things go from serious to ridiculous. Where this adaptation truly missteps, is in the finale, which feels rather anticlimactic.
A lot of people may not have liked some of the liberties that the 1987 adaptation took, but that version improved upon something that was missing in the novel. You see, the novel felt like a piece in a much larger work. By taking some liberties with the ending, the 1987 adaptation felt like one, complete work; a film that could stand on its own. In being more faithful to the source material, this version of Flowers in the Attic succumbs to the very weakness that hurt the novel; that feeling of incompleteness. [Not Rated] 90 mins.
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