Set in the south of the United States just after the Civil War, Laurel Sommersby is just managing to work the farm without her husband Jack, believed killed in the Civil War. By all accounts, Jack Sommersby was not a pleasant man, thus when he returns, Laurel has mixed emotions. It appears that Jack has changed a great deal, leading some people to believe that this is not actually Jack but an impostor. Laurel herself is unsure, but willing to take the man into her home, and perhaps later into her heart…
Murray Chapman <[email protected]>
User Reviews: "Sommersby" is an intriguing film that keeps the audience barely outside the scenes but close enough to be touched by them. The story, of Jack Sommersby (or so it appears) a changed man after returning to his wife and hometown years after being held captive in the Civil War, was borrowed from the French film "The Return of Martin Guerre." But apparently this one has some new twists.
As we watch this movie, we’re not quite sure what to think. The townspeople, his friends, his dog and even his own wife aren’t certain this is the man who left for the war. That, and the trial toward the end of the movie, stretches credulity a bit, my minor complaints. But after all, this is the movies, and there is a pretty good story here. A real tear-jerker, for certain.
Jodie Foster and Richard Gere carry this plot well, both putting in what I believe is some of their best work. The direction and cinematography also shine.
In the end, this movie is all about pure love of a man for a woman, in which he literally loves her more than life itself. That may seem a bit hokey, but it’s a refreshing and enduring message in an movie age in which a one-night stand passes for a long-term relationship.