CINEMA: STINGLESS

FONDA'S COMEBACK ROLE HAS BIG BUZZ BUT NO BITE

Ulee Jackson (Peter Fonda) keeps bees, which may account for the cautious way he moves through life. He is a widower, which surely explains his pensive silences. His son is in jail, his daughter-in-law is in need of rescue from drugs and low company, and his granddaughters, who live with him, require large helpings of love, patience and understanding. All that, doubtless, justifies the bitter flashes that occasionally illuminate his frozen taciturnity.

What's harder to understand is the critical enthusiasm and good grosses that have so far greeted Ulee's Gold. Some of it probably derives from a desire to welcome Fonda...

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