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Red Dirt (2000)

 -  Drama  -  17 March 2000 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 788 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 7 critic

Red Dirt offers the story of a young man's search to belong in this sublime expression of love and reconciliation. At only twenty, Griffith is struggling with the responsibilities of caring... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Dan Montgomery Jr. ...
Griffith Joseph Burns (as Dan Montgomery)
...
Emily Whaley
...
Peg O'Keef ...
Lynn Thomas
...
Virgil Cunningham
Jo-Ann Robinson ...
Customer in shop (as Jo Ann Robinson)
...
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Storyline

Red Dirt offers the story of a young man's search to belong in this sublime expression of love and reconciliation. At only twenty, Griffith is struggling with the responsibilities of caring for his unwell aunt, grieving the loss of their family's matriarch, and his own dreams of leaving Pine Apple. With the arrival of a stranger, Griffith's carefully constructed walls of shame and silence begin to come down and his life takes an unexpected turn. Written by Anonymous

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User Reviews

Good Character Development, Unsatisfying Ending
15 September 2004 | by (Tulsa, OK) – See all my reviews

Red Dirt takes place in a tiny rural community in southern Louisiana along the banks of the Mississippi River and revolves around Griffith. Full of angst, Griffith longs to leave this seething cess pool after graduating from high school, but feels he should stay and watch after his Aunt Summer (or as he says, 'Summuh') who raises him like a mother after Grif's parents. Summer is mentally ill...perhaps depression or bi-polar...and mostly stays cooped up in her room listening to depressing opera music. When he's not working around the farm or taking care of his aunt, Griffith hangs out with his cousin, Emily. Things change when a young drifter, Lee, strolls in and befriends Griffith.

The southern accents are slathered on a little thick to put it nicely. Normally, I can understand someone with a deep southern accent, but I frequently had to stop and replay the DVD to catch some of the dialogue. Some scenes are portrayed a bit over-dramatic as well...mostly the ones with Summer. There were several times I couldn't help but bust out laughing over the contrived dialogue and acting which is not necessarily a good thing for a dramatic movie such as this. Maybe this particular rental DVD had some scratches on it, but I came across some very noticeable jump cuts.

You have to wade through a lot of character development to get to see anything remotely gay, and then, seemingly, Griffith comes to terms with himself overnight. We see a quick male-on-male kiss and that's the end of that. To Tag Purvis' credit, the controversial issues are presented very matter-of-fact.

What can I say about the ending without giving it completely away? The characters that are complacent enough with living here move out, and the characters who long to leave wind up staying. No real explanation is given.

Overall, the ending seemed hasty and unsatisfying after sitting through a lot of beautiful cinematography. If you have ever longed to get out of the place and situation you are in and discover your true potential elsewhere, but kept coming up with excuses to stay...probably due to the fear of the unknown..., you will see yourself in this movie. Otherwise, move along. There is nothing to see here.


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