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The Cider House Rules  

Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire)
Candy (Charlize Theron)
Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine)
Mr. Rose (Delroy Lindo)
Wally (Paul Rudd)

Directed by Lasse Hallstrom Written by John Irving

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexuality, nudity, substance abuse and some violence
Running Time: 131 minutes Distributed by Miramax
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The Cider House Rules is a fine and gracious film. The Cider House Rules follows the story of Homer Wells (Maguire). Homer, a child without parents, was raised and mentored by his orphanage' doctor, a man named Larch (Caine). Dr. Larch teaches Homer everything about medicine and about right and wrong, but he never gave Homer rules to live by. When Homer leaves to discover the world, he has more excitement then he could ever imagine, especially when he falls in love for the first time. However, when Homer is forced to make decisions that will change his future, he ultimately accepts that he can't escape his past.

The Cider House Rules is one of those great movies that is created very simple. The film reminded a lot of Fried Green Tomatoes and Far and Away.

John Irving delivers one of the best scripts of the year. Irving based the script off of his novel of the same name. Irving's script has terrific characters, a moral plot, and polished dialogue. Look for Irving's script to receive nominations and possibly awards this year.

Tobey Maguire is pleasant and well cast as Homer. It is nice to see a younger actor like Maguire able to hold his own in a leading role. Michael Caine is outstanding as Homer's honest mentor, Dr. Larch. It is probably the best work that I have ever seen Caine do. Charlize Theron is pure and elegant as Homer's love interest, Candy. I have been dying to see Theron take on a decent drama story, and she finally does with The Cider House Rules. She is a very bright, beautiful and good young actress. It is just that her last few roles, like in Mighty Joe Young and The Astronaut's Wife, were terrible selections. However, Theron gets to show her capabilities as an actress in The Cider House Rules. The whole cast in the film really clicks and work well together.

Director Lasse Hallstrom leads you into a beautiful film full of landscapes, beaches and snow. However, Hallstrom does first focus entirely on the story of Homer, then surrounds it with beautiful settings.

The Cider House Rules is a film that will not disappoint. It is just one of those fine films that doesn't have so many complicated subplots to hurt it. I recommend The Cider House Rules highly.

Report Card Grade: A

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