Citizen Ruth

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Citizen Ruth ★★½ Precious; Meet Ruth Stoops 1996 (R)

Gluesniffing, pregnant Ruth Stoops (Dern) has already borne four children and been declared an unfit mother. In trouble again, Ruth's quietly told it's in her best interests to get an abortion but a couple (Smith and Place) from the prolife community bail her out and give her a place to stay, while the group uses her as a propaganda symbol. Added to the commotion is a smarmy televangelist (Reynolds) and tough prochoice Diane (Kurtz), who manages to get Ruth to stay with her while Ruth ineffectually tries to get some control over her wayward life. Doesn't take sides—both the prochoice and prolife camps are tweaked, with neither willing to compromise. 104m/C VHS, DVD . Laura Dern, Swoosie Kurtz, Mary Kay Place, Kurtwood Smith, Kelly Preston, Burt Reynolds, M.C. Gainey, Kenneth Mars, Kathleen Noone, David Graf, Tippi Hedren, Alicia Witt, Diane Ladd; D: Alexander Payne; W: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor; C: James Glennon; M: Rolfe Kent. Montreal World Film Fest. '95: Actress (Dern).