The Handmaid's Tale Movie Review Summary

Actors: Natasha Richardson, Aidan Quinn, Robert Duvall, Faye Dunaway, Elizabeth McGovern

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Handmaid's Tale

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.
Click here to see the rest of this review

The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

Script Analysis of The Handmaid's Tale

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Actual chase scenes or violence 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzle 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 50% **Fantasy or Science Fiction?**    -   science fiction story Romance    -   Yes Repressive Society    -   Yes Repression:    -   controls your sex Inner Struggle    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   one culture tries to impose its culture on another group

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   prostitute/concubine Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


Earth setting:    -   near future (later in 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Misc settings    -   prison    -   mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Tone of movie    -   depressed/sad Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   impregnation/reproduction    -   actual description of sex    -   seeing breasts    -   society controls main character's sexuality Kinds of F/X    -   exploding bombs Is this movie based on a    -   book

Movies with storylines, themes & endings like The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale Message Board (click here)
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian