Mighty Fine Movie Review

Mighty Fine movie review

Too many films use sensationalism unrelated to plot to attract an audience. Such is not the case with the low budget independent feature Mighty Fine.

This movie, set in 1974, chronicles the move from Brooklyn to New Orleans of the Fines, garment manufacturer Joe (Chazz Palminteri), holocaust survivor wife Stella (Andie MacDowell), seventeen year old daughter Maddie, and younger daughter Natalie, the teller of the story.

Joe is on the brink of collapse financially and mentally. He is controlling, aggressive, angry. His wife justifies his behavior saying is not a bad guy because he takes care of them and protects them. His daughters do not agree. To them his way of treating them is a cancer, a plague. They acquiesce because such secrets must be kept.

While the outside world sees Joe as charming, he isn’t. His family feels the brunt of his insults, intimidation, and bursts of temper . They are demeaned and damaged by his emotional and mental abuse.

Joe continues to deteriorate. His actions grow more and more out of control. He threatens Maddie’s friends with a rifle. In the storm of emotions that follow, he turns a gun on himself. Only then, even though women don’t tell men what to do, does his wife stand up to him. She admits that he has been terrorizing them.

Time passes peacefully. Natalie Elizabeth Fine enters her poem Mighty Fine into the Campbell’s Poetry Competition. She wins. Her courage grows, His anger fades.

I like Mighty Fine even though the ending is too abrupt, too simple, and too predictable. Cinematography and editing needed to be tweaked. Had the film been longer than 80 minutes, better subplot development and character connections would have made the story more complex and interesting and less predictable sturm und drang. To me the main characters did not show as real multi-sided people. Joe was an emotional stereotype. Stella was a characterless victim. Maddie was a passive aggressive foil. Natalie needed more developing. Had more of each shown, Mighty Fine would be a blockbuster.

People need to see how anger and mental health issues destroy. Without intervention, aggressors make victims then victims become aggressors. The cycle must stop. I wish real life could be all happy endings.

Here’s one point of view:

?There?s a monster in dad and it makes him wicked mad.
Dad finally got some help
and his hospital stay saved all of our lives.
As his anger faded my courage grew.
And we met up somewhere in the middle.
Eventually we found each other again and that was enough.?

(Natalie Fine from the Mighty Fine movie)

Mighty Fine premieres in select theaters on May 25th. To find the theater nearest you visit http://mightyfine-themovie.com/theaters.html


I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mighty Fine and the distributor. I received access to an online showing of the film and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

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