In the near future, pollution and radiation have reduced female fertility to 1 in 100. A religious and fascistic state -- the Republic of Gilead -- determines that the few women who are capable of bearing children are chosen as "handmaids" to breed with the rich and powerful. Kate (Richardson), a former librarian whose husband was killed and daughter lost while they were trying to escape over the border, is picked by the barren Serena Joy (Dunaway) to bear a child with her powerful husband, "the Commander" (Duvall). An underground rebel force makes contact with Kate as she learns the cross-currents and treacheries of her household. This bleak and sometimes painful film is a decent adaptation of Margaret Atwood's feminist dystopian sci-fi novel, with a screenplay by Harold Pinter. The principals are excellent, Aidan Quinn appears as a chauffeur-soldier in the Commander's household, and McGovern has a meaty supporting role as a lesbian handmaid-in-training who escapes into the prostitute underworld (and ends up looking a bit like Tim Curry in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"). A real downer, but worth watching.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus