• Craig Hunter

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

Meryl Streep is Francesca, an Italian woman who married a US soldier and moved with him to Iowa where she raised a family.  One day, while her husband and kids are at the state fair, she meets a photojournalist who is in Madison County to take pictures of some bridges for National Geographic.

Their serendipitous meeting blossoms into a romance like neither has experienced before. Francesca wants to leave her family to be with Richard but ultimately she decides that her obligation to her family is too important. After her death, her children discover her secret past in her journals when they visit the family home to make her funeral arrangements. And the secret that seemed so dangerous to her children at one time, now revealed,  has a profoundly positive impact on their lives.

Meryl Streep is brilliant portraying an Italian immigrant who once dreamed of a different life in America.  The acting and dialogue in the present day scenes with the children is stiff and a little "on the nose" but ultimately just serves as hash marks for the real story between Francesca and Richard, so you can forgive it.

Richard sums up the sentiment of the film when he tells Francesca "The dreams that I had were good ones.  They didn't turn out, but I'm still glad I had them."

Check out The Bridges of Madison County on Amazon