What Lisa Watched Last Night #97: Flowers in the Attic (dir by Deborah Chow)

This weekend, I watched the Lifetime original movie Flowers in the Attic.

Flowers in the Attic

Why Was I Watching It?

How could I not watch it?  From the minute Lifetime first started to air commercials for it back in November, I knew I was going to watch Flowers in the Attic.  What especially captured my attention was the way Flowers in The Attic was referred to as being “the book you weren’t allowed to read.”  Even though I hadn’t even heard of the book before I saw the commercials, that tag line hooked me.  The forbidden is always so inviting.

Add to that, every time I mentioned Flowers in the Attic on Twitter, Mason Dye (who played Christopher in the film) always favorited my tweet.  That was so sweet that there was no way I couldn’t watch the movie.

What Was It About?

The time is the 1950s.  The recently widowed Corrine (Heather Graham) returns to her childhood home in Virginia.  As Corrine explains to her children, she comes from a rich family but was disowned when she left home.  Now, her plan is to make up with her disapproving father and inherit his fortune once he dies.  Corrine also claims that the only way for her to win back her father’s love is for her to keep the existence of her children a secret.

Hence, Corrine’s children — teenagers Cathy (Kierna Shipka) and Christopher (Mason Dye) and twins Carrie and Cory — are forced to hide in the attic while Corrine charms her father.  The children are watched over by their ultra-religious, abusive grandmother (Ellen Burstyn).

Once in the attic, the children soon realize that Corrine doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to win their freedom.  While Cathy and Christopher struggle to come of age without any adult supervision, Grandma occasionally brings up mysterious powdered donuts.  Soon, Cathy and Christopher are exploring their desires and the twins are falling ill…

What Worked?

It all worked.  This was Lifetime at its absolute best: entertaining, fun, and wonderfully melodramatic.  Along with being full of wonderfully gothic Southern atmosphere, Flowers in the Attic featured great performances from Heather Graham, Mason Dye, and Kiernan Shipka.  Best of all was veteran actress Ellen Burstyn, who made Grandma into a wonderfully over-the-top monster.

What Did Not Work?

 If I have any complaints, it’s that the film’s conclusion felt a bit abrupt.  However, a sequel to Flowers is already in production so that ending was actually a perfect set-up for part two of the story.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Cathy was into ballet, just like me!  If I ever found myself locked in an attic for a year and a half, I’d probably use the time to do some pointe work as well.

Lessons Learned

Don’t eat mysterious donuts.

12 responses to “What Lisa Watched Last Night #97: Flowers in the Attic (dir by Deborah Chow)

  1. Lisa Marie hadn’t heard of “Flowers in the Attic”? I’m flabbergasted! Honestly, that’s one of the most surprising things I’ve read on this site.

    I first heard of “Flowers in the Attic” back when it reached Australian cinemas in the late 1980s. Yes, “Flowers in the Attic” was a feature length film released to US cinemas in 1987 (IMDB states the film was released in Australia on January 21st 1988).

    The promotional spots were all over television: you simply couldn’t get away from them. The problem is, as I recall, the ads here in Australia consisted of nothing more than a bunch of still images with some creepy music, and it looked about as scary as Strawberry Shortcake.

    In searching for the trailer that featured on Australian television, I instead stumbled across the following, and all I can say is if I had seen THIS trailer, I would have been all over this movie as soon as it came onto video (as there was no way I would be able to see it at the theatre).

    You think Louise Fletcher was ruthless in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, take a look at her here!


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