1992, R, 100 min. Directed by Chris Menges. Starring Goldie Hawn, David Arnott, Arliss Howard, Keith Carradine, James Gammon.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., May 29, 1992

Crisscross. No, it's not a bio-pic about the life story of that undistinguished footnote to Austin music history. (Anyway, that would be a film short, not a feature.) Nor is it those new rappers on the block, Kris Kross. It's not even that Robert Siodmak film noir sizzler starring Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo and Dan Duryea. (Check it out sometime if you're not familiar with it; it's a gem.) What Crisscross is is the newest Goldie Hawn effort (there are more to follow this summer), except that here she's really more of a supporting character than the true star. She plays Tracy Cross, mom to 12-year-old son Chris (Arnott). The story told here is really his, hence the title Crisscross. The year is 1969 and they've been abandoned by husband/dad Carradine who, himself, is traumatized from an inadvertent atrocity he committed in Vietnam. His guilt is so severe that he gets he to a monastery. This leaves Tracy and Chris to fend for themselves as best they can. Chris holds down several part-time jobs, while waitress and bartender Tracy turns to stripteasing to make ends meet. The setting is Key West and the events all take place during the week of Apollo's first moon landing. The basic setup is not bad, though you've seen this plot unfold before. Especially good is Arnott as the kid caught between boyhood and manhood. But then the latter half of the movie disintegrates into a drug dealing caper that is woefully misplaced in this little psychological period piece. Really, even the psychological material is kind of sketchy but that's not to say that it's devoid of affecting moments and small intimacies. Oscar-winning cinematographer (The Killing Fields, The Mission) turned director has a good eye, especially for movement, and has notably captured the dingy underside of the Key West locale rather than the standard lush picture postcard vision. Crisscross is the kind of movie that you probably wouldn't turn off if it were playing on TV while you were puttering around the house, but it doesn't really have much that would make you seek it out.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Goldie Hawn Films
A mother/daughter vacation from hell

Steve Davis, May 12, 2017

The Sugarland Express
With this first theatrical feature, Steven Spielberg proved he had the right stuff to become America's purest and most accomplished film entertainer. Based on true ...

Marjorie Baumgarten, Aug. 2, 2001

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
SXSW Film Review: The Greatest Hits
SXSW Film Review: The Greatest Hits
Love means never having to flip to the B side

March 16, 2024

SXSW Film Review: The Uninvited
SXSW Film Review: The Uninvited
A Hollywood garden party unearths certain truths

March 12, 2024


CrissCross, Chris Menges, Goldie Hawn, David Arnott, Arliss Howard, Keith Carradine, James Gammon

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle