How to Make an American Quilt (1995)

This adaptation of Whitney Otto’s novel is a charming, occasionally compelling little movie that doesn’t leave much of an impression but is perfectly pleasant nevertheless. Winona Ryder is underused in the lead role, but luckily there’s a parade of top-tier Hollywood talent on hand to provide strong support. In particular, Ellen Burstyn and Anne Bancroft provide the emotional anchor to the movie, while Maya Angelou makes occasional, commanding appearances here and there. The movie’s episodic nature keeps things interesting, with the many short vignettes providing plenty of opportunities for the acting to shine. Ultimately there’s not much to it, but it’s a nice way to spend a quiet afternoon.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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