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Percy, upon being released from prison, goes to the small town of Gillead, to find a place where she can start over again. She is taken in by Hannah, to help out at her place, the Spitfire Grill. Percy brings change to the small town, stirring resentment and fear in some, and growth in others. Written by
Erich Boleyn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When this won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996, a lot of critics sharpened their knives, because the film was produced with money from a religious group, and they thought it was pushing religion on the masses. The truth is, only a couple of scenes take place at a church, and there's nothing particularly "religious" about the storyline. Having got that out of the way, this is another instance where good performances and a promising story are sunk by melodrama. The two good performances are Alison Elliot as Percy, the ex-convict, and the underrated Marcia Gay Harden as Shelby, the housewife who becomes her best friend. The movie is best in the scenes between the two of them(like when they're cooking breakfast together at the grill for the first time), and I also liked the way first time director Lee David Zlotoff uses the outdoors. But he's got a lot to learn about writing, as the movie gradually becomes melodramatic, with so much plot thrown in you're suffocating in it. Also, Will Patton, who I like, is stuck playing such a one-note character he might as well have "Warning: Plot Device" written on him, and Ellen Burstyn does her crotchety old woman again. All in all, a missed opportunity.
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