POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE (1990)

To set the record straight, Carrie Fisher’s adaptation of her semi-autobiographical novel is not a point-by-point revelation of her relationship with her mother, Debbie Reynolds. Rather, it’s loosely inspired by Fisher’s experiences with addiction, making low-budget movies and show-biz families. In fact, Liza Minelli once told her the mother-daughter relationship reminded her of her own relationship with Judy Garland. And when Reynolds submitted herself for the mother role, director Mike Nichols told her she wasn’t right for it. However, the film is a brilliantly witty look at a young woman’s attempt to find her own identity independent of family and scandal. Nichols’ paint-box colors perfectly capture the artificiality of Hollywood, providing an ironic contrast to the backbiting and treachery under the surface. Meryl Streep won an Oscar nomination for playing the main character but Shirley MacLaine should have. The film also features supporting work from Dennis Quaid as an unscrupulous producer, Gene Hackman as Streep’s director, Mary Wickes as her grandmother, Annette Benning as a young actress and Richard Dreyfuss as a doctor. (d. Mike Nichols, 101m, DCP)

In attendance: TODD FISHER, RICHARD DREYFUSS