Lianna and her husband Dick have been married for a few years but the marriage isn’t a happy one, since Dick treats her with arrogance. One day Lianna falls in love – with Ruth, a teacher. The people who know them act different: her husband with feelings of sexual betrayal, her children with curiosity and Lianna’s friends with ambivalence.
Lianna is a 1983 drama film written and directed by John Sayles. It features Linda Griffiths, Jane Hallaren, Jon DeVries, Jessica MacDonald, Jo Henderson, Jesse Solomon, Stephen Mendillo, Betsy Julia Robinson, Amanda Carlin, among others.
About the Story
Lianna (Linda Griffiths) is the wife of a college professor teaching film and media at a university in a small to midsized town in New Jersey, and the mother of two children. In an attempt to give her husband more freedom, at his request, and cure her boredom in being a housewife, she takes a child psychology class with her friend Sandy.
Becoming more involved in the class and interacting with the female professor, she realizes she has a crush on the instructor, Ruth. Ruth invites Lianna over to her home for dinner and they talk into the night, Lianna explaining that she was a graduate student at one time who married the professor. They eventually sleep together and begin an affair, complicated by Lianna’s husband’s affair with one of his students. Lianna expresses interest in leaving her husband for Ruth, but Ruth backs away, warning Lianna that living with another woman would jeopardize her career as a child psychologist—and, to complicate matters, she has a partner in another city.
Lianna leaves her husband after a particularly ugly fight to live alone for the first time in years. Lianna visits a lesbian bar and attempts to connect with other lesbians through a string of affairs to explore her new identity. The film explores her loneliness, her changing relationships with her children, and her new relationship with Sandy, who is shocked at Lianna’s revelations at first, but slowly begins to accept it and support Lianna.
Directed by: John Sayles
Starring: Linda Griffiths, Jane Hallaren, Jon DeVries, Jessica MacDonald, Jo Henderson, Jesse Solomon, Stephen Mendillo, Betsy Julia Robinson, Amanda Carlin
Screenplay by: John Sayles
Cinematography by: Austin De Besche
Film Editing by: John Sayles
Costume Design by: Louise Martinez
Set Decoration by: Dena Roth
Art Direction by: Jeanne McDonnell
Music by: Mason Daring
Distributed by: United Artists Classics
Release Date: January 18, 1983