Jo­lene,

Pasatiempo - - Moving Images -

loony bin could even be con­sid­ered a step back­ward, ex­cept that the amorous les­bian guard is ul­ti­mately per­haps the most gen­tle and car­ing of her ad­mir­ers. Then there’s the charis­matic gui­tar-play­ing, song-writ­ing tat­too artist Coco Leger, played by Ru­pert Friend, whom some will re­mem­ber from di­rec­tor Ire­land’s very dif­fer­ent Mrs. Pal­frey at the Clare­mont.

But Coco turns out to be un­re­li­able, as does the next man, a Las Ve­gas gam­bler (Chazz Palminteri), al­though for very dif­fer­ent rea­sons. And the guy af­ter that, the hand­some, im­pos­si­bly wealthy born-again Chris­tian scion of a Tulsa oil fam­ily (Michael Var­tan), turns out to be the worst of them all.

Jo­lene gets off to a slow start. The first hus­band is such a pa­thetic doo­fus that the early scenes feel campy, de­spite a faith­ful ren­der­ing of the char­ac­ter by Zeb New­man. But the film gath­ers sure­ness as it goes along. Doc­torow has a good story to tell, Yares adapts it in­tel­li­gently, and Ire­land has the craft to shape the ma­te­rial into a movie that holds our at­ten­tion and gains our re­spect. The ad­van­tage of work­ing from a short story, as op­posed to a novel, is that the film­mak­ers can in­clude pretty much the whole thing, and these film­mak­ers do just that.

The rose-col­ored glasses are half full: Jes­sica Chas­tain

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