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How to Make an American Quilt
Winona Ryder and Kate Nelligan




Overview -
Director Jocelyn Moorhouse's film adaptation of the novel by Whitney Otto stars Winona Ryder as Finn Dodd, a Berkeley graduate student on summer hiatus at her grandmother's home to work on her thesis and ponder a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Sam (Dermot Mulroney). Finn's grandma, Hy (Ellen Burstyn), lives with her great aunt, Glady Jo (Anne Bancroft), at their idyllic Northern California home. The two fiery women meet with seven older female relatives and close friends for a regular quilting bee, led by Anna (Maya Angelou). Over the course of the summer, Finn contemplates her future while gaining insight into love and relationships from the different members of the quilting bee. Their experiences are brought to life as each woman shares a unique tale with the confused young woman. The interwoven memories of each sage member of the quilting bee--including Constance (Kate Nelligan); Anna's daughter, Mariana (Alfre Woodard); and Finn's free-spirited mother, Sally (Kate Capshaw)--become lessons in love, pain, and emotional growth for Finn as the women work to make her wedding quilt. Each memory becomes a vivid flashback subtly weaving the past and present together to create a colorful collection of stories, featuring young stars including Claire Danes and Samantha Mathis as the individual women in their youth. A tribute to women's friendship and camaraderie, HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT shines with a cast of all-star actresses.

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More About How to Make an American Quilt

 
 
 

Overview

Director Jocelyn Moorhouse's film adaptation of the novel by Whitney Otto stars Winona Ryder as Finn Dodd, a Berkeley graduate student on summer hiatus at her grandmother's home to work on her thesis and ponder a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Sam (Dermot Mulroney). Finn's grandma, Hy (Ellen Burstyn), lives with her great aunt, Glady Jo (Anne Bancroft), at their idyllic Northern California home. The two fiery women meet with seven older female relatives and close friends for a regular quilting bee, led by Anna (Maya Angelou). Over the course of the summer, Finn contemplates her future while gaining insight into love and relationships from the different members of the quilting bee. Their experiences are brought to life as each woman shares a unique tale with the confused young woman. The interwoven memories of each sage member of the quilting bee--including Constance (Kate Nelligan); Anna's daughter, Mariana (Alfre Woodard); and Finn's free-spirited mother, Sally (Kate Capshaw)--become lessons in love, pain, and emotional growth for Finn as the women work to make her wedding quilt. Each memory becomes a vivid flashback subtly weaving the past and present together to create a colorful collection of stories, featuring young stars including Claire Danes and Samantha Mathis as the individual women in their youth. A tribute to women's friendship and camaraderie, HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT shines with a cast of all-star actresses.

Main Cast & Crew

Jocelyn Moorhouse - Director
Winona Ryder
Maya Angelou
Anne Bancroft
Ellen Burstyn
Samantha Mathis
Kate Nelligan
Jean Simmons
Lois Smith
Alfre Woodard
Kate Capshaw

 

Details

DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 116
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 025192001826
  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
  • Release Date: February 1999

Related Categories:
Movies > Dramas

Related Keywords:
Friends
Family Interaction
Romance
Self-Discovery
All-Star
Bucolic
Heartwarming
Theatrical Release

 

Movie Reviews

More Details

Synopsis:
Finn Dodd is a 26-year-old college student who's engaged to Sam, a nice, handsome carpenter. But Finn feels very confused about many issues in her life, including her impending marriage. For help in resolving her problems, Finn pays a visit to the quilting bee--seven older female relatives and friends who create quilts together. Each sage member of the bee imparts valuable advice to Finn, recounting important memories and events of their lives.

Notes:
Theatrical release: October 6, 1995. Jared Leto makes his feature-film debut in HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT. Leto and costar Claire Danes also appeared together on the TV series MY SO-CALLED LIFE. Maya Angelou is a renowned American poet.

Reviews:
"...A romantic tale that is intelligent..." - 06/01/1996 Sight and Sound, p.44-5


"..A wealth of old-style Hollywood magic....A memory movie passionately pumped up by the latest top-notch Thomas Newman score..." -- 3 1/2 out of 4 stars - 10/06/1995 USA Today, p.1D


"...QUILT hangs together quite nicely." -- Rating: B - 10/20/1995 Entertainment Weekly, p.48


"...[A] sweet, sincere tale....Cameraman Janusz Kaminski takes great delight in painterly homages that vary from American Gothic to the Norman Rockwell oeuvre..." - 10/02/1995 Variety

 

BAM Customer Reviews