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Jill St. John
Floyd, the owner of a bar on the Texas coast, has been depressed for a year after his wife disappeared in a swimming accident. He lives with his senile father-in-law "The General" and is helped by Jimmy, a former asylum inmate, and the good-natured Louise. The bar is rapidly losing money and Charlie wants to buy it cheaply before it becomes publicly known that a nearby bridge is to be built. Louise offers her savings to go into partnership with Floyd, but Floyd decides to sell when he is forced to pay his back taxes. Written by
Full Moon Over Blue Water is a character-driven narrative about Floyd (Gene Hackman), a middle-aged man whose life is decaying at the same rate as the rundown bar he owns in Blue Water, on the Texas coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. Floyd spends his days watching home movies of Dorothy, indulging an exaggerated longing for a wife who's gone missing, while those around him, whose lives are inextricably tied to his, try to carry on in his cerebral absence. Louise(Terri Garr), his girlfriend, wants marriage and has ambitions to revive the flagging stocks of the Bluewater Bar. The General(Burgess Meredith), his crippled and irascible father-in-law, in need of Floyd's continuing care, understands in his own way that his daughter is dead and that Floyd should move on. Jimmy(Elias Koteas), an erstwhile employee, of limited intelligence and recently released from an asylum, craves Floyd's approval and interest to remain stable and out of harm's way. All need Floyd's participation in their lives to function in a civilised and meaningful way. There are one or two subplots along the way, but, in essence, this is the story of four people trying to bring meaning and dignity to their lives out of the conflict that Floyd's sense of hopelessness has created. The resolution of their problems seems to go off the rails a bit near the end, but there is something appealing about this meditation on life that I liked, in spite of generally being dismissed by the critics, and I would recommend it to anyone who can set their cinematic sights outside blockbusters and complicated thrillers.
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