This film is based on a novel by Margaret Atwood. The setting is a future America (now called Gilead) where the religious right has taken over the country. Many areas have had nuclear fallout and pollution, 99% of women are unable to have children. Kate is a handmaid and she has been chosen for this because she is able to conceive a child. She is assigned to the Commander’s home and since his name is Fred, her name is changed to Offred. Serena Joy is married to Fred and she is unable to have children but she wants a baby very much. There is a possibility that the Commander has become sterile because of the pollution but that idea is not considered. It will be Offred’s fault if she is unable to have a baby. There is also a resistance movement trying to move America back to center away from the right.
I watched the first season of the 2017 TV series The Handmaid’s Tale with Elizabeth Moss and I wanted to compare this film with the series. A second season of the series will be shown so I don’t know the ending yet. There are a lot of similarities in this film to the series but there are differences too. I thought both were good because the right in control of America is a speculation subject. It was interesting to see how the story plays out with some good points but bad points as well. 3 ½* (I liked this movie)
108 min, Drama directed by Volker Schlondorff with Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway, Aidan Quinn, Elizabeth McGovern, Victoria Tennant, Robert Duvall, Blanche Baker, Traci Lind, Zoey Wilson, Kathryn Doby.
Note: Imdb 6.0 out of 10, 31% critic 44% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*, Amazon 3.8* out of 5* with 143 reviews, Rolling Stone 4* out of 4*.
Special Note: Filmed in Blue Ridge Mountains, Durham and Raleigh, North Carolina. Originally, both Jodie Foster and Sigourney Weaver were offered the role of Offred. Faye Dunaway quit the role of Serena Joy because she felt it was too weak. Margaret Atwood personally called her and Faye changed her mind. Robert Duvall was inspired by evangelism after this film and he wrote The Apostle of 1997. There is a dress code with handmaids wearing red, wives blue and aunts (guardians of the handmaids) brown, police and government black.