How to Make an American Quilt is a 1995 drama film, and an adaptation of the 1991 novel of the same name by Whitney Otto. Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, the film stars Winona Ryder, Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, Kate Nelligan and Alfre Woodard. The film received a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Finn is a young graduate student, finishing a master’s thesis, and preparing for marriage to her fiance Sam. But thoughts of the end of the free life, and a potential summer fling, intrude. She goes home to her grandmother, where, over the making of her wedding gift by a group of quilting-bee friends, laughter, bickering, love, and advice lead her toward a more open-eyed examination of her course.
This came out during a timeperiod when these coming of age films were the norm, you’d get films like My Girl, The Prince Of Tides, Now & Then, Gold Diggers: The Secret Of Bear Mountain, and this is one of those movies.
This is another one of those films that’s a very mixed bag, its’ heart and soul is definitely in the right place, there’s a ton of really solid performances in this by the main cast but the film does have too much sappiness to it in some of its’ more dramatic moments, by the end of the movie, you come out feeling like you got something from this while also not feeling like you didn’t get much either.
The performances are very good, they are what hold the movie afloat but above all that, there’s nothing else about this that really stands out about it, as a coming of age story, it’s about as predictable as you can get. I say watch it solely for the performances when it comes on TV but don’t rush out to watch it by any means.