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Though the Boston Globe lamented the book's sacrifice of character in favor of complicated plot machinations, and the Washington Post considered the story line too melodramatic, most reviewers praised Carter's elegant writing and intricate maneuverings.
Ideology is much easier than education; it is much easier to pick up the melodramatics of Communism, fascism, feminism, nationalism, and so on than it is to become educated.
There is no big scene, no melodramatics, no contrived ending, just an incremental involvement by the title character, an initially reluctant policeman ("Why didn't they give this job to a social worker?
More fatally though, it not only remains at an emotional distance but, by refusing to give Legba a voice of his own renders him an obscure object of desire, skewing the film less towards Claire Denis' socio-politically similar Chocolat and more akin to the sexually-heated melodramatics of Night of the I guana.
That's because debut director Todd Field never allows this family tragedy to slip into cheap melodramatics, drawing career-high performances from a quality cast.
It's a toss-up which is the more unpleasant - the way this film wallows in the violence it pretends to deplore or Cage's melodramatics.
A Civil Action,'' taken from Jonathan Harr's absorbing, nonfiction book about a precedent-setting pollution trial, is a far cry from the silly melodramatics we're accustomed to in John Grisham courtroom movies.
The large cast's dance-acting was not only up to the level of the British choreographer's own Royal Ballet, but the wrought-up story of the famous suicide pact came to seem less about melodramatics, more about real people.
The fiery South American also didn't like being substituted near the end of City's 1-0 Wembley win over Stoke and Mancini appears to be growing tired of Tevez's melodramatics.
That coupled with the film's heart-on-its-sleeve sentimentality can leave you shaking your head at times, but there's always a good bit around the corner to redeem the melodramatics.
The giddiness is gone, too, along with the "art is life" melodramatics of, say, The Turning Point--not that the seventeen-year-old movie was any model of backstage verisimilitude.