Cinema: Ransom of the Heart

Michelle Pfeiffer restores honor to the family drama

Life is a stern professor: It teaches us how to say goodbye. We lose--or simply misplace--our youth, many of our dreams, the bounce in our step, the dewy dependence of our children. We grow, then decay; our kids grow up and grow away. For most of us the process is so gradual that we take it for granted. We accommodate ourselves to loss, as a rehearsal for the ultimate accommodation of dying. But what if you have this good life--the sweet husband, the three kids--and then it disappears from under you, like a magic carpet yanked by a prankster? What if...

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