The Handmaid's Tale


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Based on Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel, THE HANDMAID'S TALE presents a harrowing vision of (as the film's opening legend reads) "the very near future." In Gilead, formerly the United States, a series of ecological disasters rendering most women infertile has been followed by a coup d'état by puritanical right-wing fundamentalists.

Attempting to escape the increasingly unjust and brutal oligarchy, Kate (Natasha Richardson) is captured by border guards while her husband is killed and her daughter lost. Because she is fertile, Kate is sent for training as a handmaid, where she meets the defiant Moira (Elizabeth McGovern). Kate then becomes handmaid to the Commander (Robert Duvall) and is forced to enact a ceremony, based on the biblical story of Rachel, in which she lies between the Commander and his infertile wife, Serena Joy (Faye Dunaway), so he can impregnate her. The ceremony leaves Serena Joy angry, the Commander unfulfilled, and Kate humiliated, rebellious, and desperate for freedom. The splendid performance of the ensemble cast is highlighted by McGovern's wrenching turn as the disaffected "gender traitor."

Celebrated playwright Harold Pinter supplies a stark, affecting screenplay for director Volker Schlöndorff (THE TIN DRUM), who retains all the sting of Atwood's feminist classic by sculpting a frighteningly plausible futuristic parable.

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The Handmaid's Tale
Volker Schlöndorff

Running Time:
109 minutes

Natasha Richardson
Faye Dunaway
Elizabeth McGovern from ALL of Hollywood's Hottest Movies!  125x125 banner

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