This is a complex family drama told in two episodes, about 20 years apart. Michael Taylor is a successful author. He returns home to his parents after finishing his latest book, the autobiographical story of his childhood and suffering under a cruel, domineering father. In flashbacks we see the events that he has written about.
Judging by the abundance of top actors in the film it was intended to be a big film. But somehow it just doesn't work. There are too many characters and too many events stuffed into the 90 minute film. If this had been a true story I could have excused it, because real life is never tidy, but as a work of fiction it's too messy. Too much happens in the present, such as Michael's mother dying and his ex-wife getting pregnant. If the film had concentrated on the past events and kept the present events to a minimum it would have been better. Some things were cut too short, such as Michael's relationship with his Aunt Jane. I was hoping to see some intensification of the sexual attraction after the first teasing encounter at her bedroom door.
But my biggest disappointment -- and yes, I know this is a spoiler, but I'll include it because I don't recommend the film -- is that Michael decided to burn his manuscript before it was published. Destroying the past is a sin. It should be remembered, whether it is good or bad.