After serving time in prison, Sonny returns to his coastal Florida hometown, where life and the residents haven't changed much, including the local crime boss, Vance, who owes Sonny some money. When Sonny goes to collect, he gets beaten up, then his house is blown up and his father is killed. Sonny, while seeking revenge against Vance and his crime gang, moves into the home of his old friend Dave, the local sheriff, and his nurse wife Ann, and their two children. Soon, a romance forms between the grieving Sonny and Ann. Written by
I recently became a fan of Timothy Olyphant after watching the new series "Justified", one of the best programs on FX or any other network. Fortunately, he does not disappoint in "Coastlines", not one little bit. Writer and director, Victor Nunez manages to confer a depth of character upon our protagonist that leaves us really caring what happens to him. In fact, even the children are gifted with personas that make them memorable.
Sonny is a rather tragic fellow just returning home from a three year prison stint, hoping to start over. His relationship with his father is ambiguous on a good day. The affection between them is obvious, but his father just seems compelled, whenever he opens his mouth, to say something disparaging about Sonny. Unfortunately, his resolution towards a quieter life is marred slightly by unfinished past business gone bad. Nunez brilliantly culls these moments and experiences to lay open the finely nuanced aspects of Sonny's character, allowing us to really see into his soul.
The music chosen for this movies is so very apt to the spiritual threads throughout. We hear some Jazz, Blues, Zydego and the movie ends on the laid back, go-with-the-flow of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Call Me The Breeze". So apropos!
While some have criticized Dave's (Josh Brolin) kindness to Sonny after he misappropriates certain family valuables, so to speak, I came away with a totally different perspective. I grew up in churches that taught, repeatedly, the concept of unconditional love, yet not often have I witnessed it. The camaraderie that Sonny, Dave and Anne had formed over so many years was closer than blood. Indeed, there had to be rules and boundaries, but forgiveness, upon remorse, was a given. In conclusion, the good guys were flawed, yet they were heading in the right direction and the bad guys were heading in the correct direction. Love it!
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