A THOUSAND ACRES, director Jocelyn Moorhouse’s screen adaptation of Jane Smiley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, finds skeins of KING LEAR-like conflict running through the bedrock of a midwestern family. Jason Robards stars as Larry Cook, a powerful, stoic Iowa farmer who decides to retire and split his 1000 acres of land among his three daughters. His two eldest daughters, Rose (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Ginny (Jessica Lange), live and work on the farm and happily accept the lucrative agreement, while the youngest, Larry’s favorite, Caroline (Jennifer Jason Leigh), has abandoned farming life for a law career in Des Moines and refuses to take part in the deal. Initially, Larry is consumed with rage and shuts out Caroline while Rose and Ginny go about running the farm with their dutiful but greedy husbands. However, as Larry begins to lose touch with his farming life, he loses touch with reality, and his painful descent into madness leaves him bitterly opposed to his daughters’ ways of running the farm. Paranoid and disillusioned, he decides to sue Rose and Ginny with Caroline’s help in an effort to regain his patriarchal control. The lawsuit divides the family forever, leaving Rose and Ginny to suffer alone while realizing painful memories from their childhood. As Rose and Ginny discover their own individual strengths in the face of adversity, they learn how to survive on their own, without the protection of the farm and the suffocating presence of their father. Moorhouse’s film is an epic tale of loss and redemption that highlights strong and earthy performances from Pfeiffer and Lange.