Proposition, The
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -1

Arthur Bennett (William Hurt) and his wife, Eleanor (Madeleine Stowe), is a well-to-do couple in 1930's Boston who seems to have it all. But, Arthur is sterile and therefore, they can't conceive. So, in order to have an heir, they "propose" that Roger Martin (Neil Patrick Harris) impregnate Eleanor. In doing this, Roger falls in love with Eleanor. As all of this is going on, Father Michael McKinnon (Kenneth Branagh) begins working at the parish where the Bennetts attend. After meeting with the Bennetts on more than one occasion, McKinnon also falls in love with Eleanor. He also turns out to have more of a connection with the Bennetts than was first thought. In spite of the fine performance by Branagh, many will find the film difficult to watch because of the slow pacing of the film. The story will definitely appeal to a limited female audience, but the prestige that accompanies Kenneth Branagh may just save this film from financial difficulty.

Although Arthur Bennett, a rich and powerful man, wants to have control over everything in his life, he just can't. The film does an excellent job of showing that no one person can be in control of everything. The content and the story are of an extremely adult nature, but the movie turns out to be surprisingly decent. Not one obscene word is used throughout the movie nor is there any nudity. The characters, while bothered by the difficult decisions of adultery, justify their decisions by the desire to fulfill their dream of having a child. This is definitely the glaring weakness of the film concerning moral content. One person is stunned by "the proposition" and another, a more minor character, opposes it, but neither character does anything about it. In fact, they take part in it. Also, many of the characters have an erroneous view of God that are accepted by all and never corrected. Even though THE PROPOSITION is fairly decent, its story and subject will probably be objectionable to many.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Distributor: Polygram Film Entertainment, 9333 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Crude Language: Several (9) times - Mild 8, Moderate 1
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Few (3) times - All Exclamatory
Violence: Few times-Moderate (man punches another, man threatens another's life)
Sexual Intercourse: Implied Few times (between unmarried couples)
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Several times (references to having sex, conversation regarding an erection)
Drug Abuse: Few times (alcohol use)
Other: None
Running Time: 124 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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