Lasse Hallstrom's leisurely adaptation of John Irving's unconventional coming-of-age novel is so well crafted and intelligent that it feels churlish to point out that it's easier to admire than actually like. Set in the late '30s and early '40s, it revolves
around young Homer Wells (Tobey Macguire), who's been raised in a New England orphanage run by Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine), a progressive sort who trains Homer in medicine and performs abortions on the side. When a privileged young couple, Candy and Wally (Charlize Theron, Paul Rudd), show up
for the procedure, Homer befriends them and, against Larch's wishes, goes off to work in an apple orchard owned by W...