Information about the director.
Barbra Streisand’s best film as a director is helped enormously by one of Nick Nolte’s finest performances. Nolte plays a football coach who is estranged from his wife (Blythe Danner) and who enters into an affair with the psychiatrist (Streisand) of his suicidal sister (Melinda Dillon). Streisand is acceptable in her star turn, but behind the camera she paces the story very well and provides lots of room for Nolte to inhabit his burdened but likable character. George Carlin is a bit token as a gay New Yorker, although Jason Gould (Streisand’s son) is good as a…
Barbra Streisand made her directorial debut with this 1983 adaptation of the Isaac Bashevis Singer story about a young Eastern European woman (Streisand) who disguises herself as a male at the turn of the century in order to get an education. Except for an excessive musical score with too many songs and Streisand's tiresome tendency to play characters who suppress their beauty, the film is crisp and engaging, and the gender-bending love story complications are fun, if gimmicky. Streisand gives a smart, vulnerable performance and gets fresh work from costars Mandy Patinkin and Amy Irving. --Tom Keogh