The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students who wants to search through his papers and her estranged sister who shows up to help settle his affairs.
The movie takes place in 1974, as can be deduced by the fact that a radio plays Nixon's resignation announcement during one scene. See more »
A married couple with an income of only $5000 p.a. in 2003 (or even 10 years earlier) would not need to file a tax return if filing jointly and there would be no penalty for failing to file. See more »
I'm going crazy, George, crazy. It's these damn drugs. I feel like strangling something. I feel like going out in the yard and strangling that damn goat! I'm dangerous.
Sit down? Look at me! Can I sit down? I just walked twenty miles! I mean look at my legs, they're still moving, Look at 'em!
Have a beer.
Beer? I can't have a beer. I'm not supposed to drink alcohol with these damn drugs. I'm gonna have to murder someone! Ok, I'll have a beer.
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This film confirms once more my determination to seek out indie and "off the map" film in lieu of the current terrible "mainstream" fare.
The acting is superb - Joan Allen's quietly powerful Arlene nurtures us with her presence (and her unstudied sensuality), Sam Elliot's Charley stunningly conveys his immense pain and frustration with few words, and Valentina de Angelis' Bo is simply a marvel as she tries to navigate her father's depression with the naivete and innocent wisdom of a child (and she's beautiful, to boot). Have I mentioned that Sam Elliot is consistently amazing? In my opinion, his quietly powerful acting has always been underrated. As Charley emerges from his depression, Elliot's sex appeal shines again as well.
Jim True-Frost's Gibbs is a subtle, complex study of a man figuring out where his peace lies and J.K. Simmons' simply centered George anchors the other characters.
The movie is beautifully shot, drawing us in bit by bit as the movie progresses with the beauty of New Mexico which at first seems rather desolate.
The minimalist "soundtrack" to the movie is the sound of the desert itself - wind chimes, coyotes and owls, the blowing wind, the sound of wood on wood. Everything keeps you grounded where these people live. What could have been conveyed as an absurd lifestyle is fully realized and we understand why they've chosen it.
Scott tells us a story but doesn't tell us how to feel about it - which is one of the most powerful differences between films such as this and "mainstream", well, crap. It is what it is, the characters do what they do, they aren't predictable archetypes but unique human beings, there are surprises, nothing is broadcast - just like real people, real lives.
We believe in this family of characters and in this story. Excellent film.
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