May-Alice Culhane was a successful soap opera star, but a car accident has left her bound to a wheelchair. She returns to her now-empty family home in the bayous of Louisiana which she had ... See full summary »
Humberto Fuentes is a wealthy doctor whose wife has recently died. In spite of the advice of his children, he takes a trip to visit his former students who now work in impoverished villages... See full summary »
Dan Rivera González
Ambitious land developers descend on a tiny Florida coastline community, inhabited mostly by local yokels and elderly African Americans. Many of them don't want to see their homes and businesses sacrificed in the name of "progress" (a.k.a. condos, hotels, strip malls, and so on). But the city council appears to be all too willing to let them come in and develop the land. In addition, one weary hotel owner is thinking about giving in and selling. Meanwhile, one prominent African American athlete suddenly becomes interested in buying out his aging neighbors. So now that the wheels of progress appear to be in motion, it seems that a minor miracle is the only thing that can stop it. Written by
If it sounds like Altman, and it looks like Altman...
(2002/John Sayles) ***1/2 out of ****
"In the beginning.....there was nothing."
Small towns are often used as the backdrop for many films, but seldom is the concept often explored. "Sunshine State", like many other films that tackle the concept, offers a slice of life into the world of the people who inhabit a small town, which is, in this case, a beach front town in Northern Florida.
Plantation Island is a picturesque small town. It's residents include many people ranging from different races, including whites, blacks, and Native Americans. But it goes a little deeper. Some of the characters are native to the area, some are just visiting. Edie Falco plays a down-to-earth motel owner, Timothy Hutton plays a land developer, Angela Bassett plays a woman who has just returned to the island after having left when she was 15, and Bill Cobbs plays a retired doctor who doesn't like where the future of the town is going. Throw in a couple of philosophical golf players, and there you have the island of Plantation.
This film has Robert Altman stamped all over it. And that's basically what it is: a toned down mosaic of Floridians, that looks like it was done by Robert Altman himself. This is a very good movie, with deep characters and a story with multiple layers. But the story and scenery can't make up for the periodic lulls here and there. All in all, an above average film that is worth a look.
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