The Ultimate Orphan

The Cider House Rules

Rich in story, character, and design (kudos to cinematographer Oliver Stapleton and production designer David Gropman), The Cider House Rules obviously is a collaborative effort, but above all it is a triumph for director Hallström, who brings the same sense of compassion to the picture that he did to My Life as a Dog. Watching the film is like reading a good book: It's so involving and emotionally satisfying (even though the feelings it raises are bittersweet at best) that as soon as you finish the last page, you want to start reading it from the beginning all over again.

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