Vital Signs

The Three Sisters

Crimes of the Heart
written by Beth Henley
directed by Bruce Beresford
De Laurentiis Entertainment Group

When Perseus went to slay the monster Medusa, advice and presents from Minerva and Mercury were not enough; he had to seek out the Graeae—three crones with but a single prized eye they shared between them, which Perseus snatched in order to force them to help him. They were helpless without it, bound inextricably to each other by their need for it and the bit of understanding it gave them of the world.

Not quite so wizened or foultempered, but equally bound to each other, are the three crazy MacGrath sisters. There's Lenny, the old maid (played by Diane Keaton); Meg (Jessica Lange), the wild one, gone off to try to get herself a singing career in Los Angeles; and the youngest. Babe (Sissy Spacek), the lithe lady of the family, the one who married well, and the one who's just shot her husband.

In the stomach, and she doesn't want to talk about it. "I didn't like his stinking looks," she says, and clams up. Brought back together by the emergency of Babe's arrest, the three sisters are incomplete without each other, each needing the support or needling (or both) of the others in order to come to terms with some small demons that threaten to turn her head or life inside out. Babe's doing crazy things with a black boy, Meg...

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