Successful Carolinian George Johnsten meets Chicago art gallery owner Madeleine at an electoral benefit art auction- love at first sight. Madeleine decides to meet a Southern original artist, so George seizes the opportunity to come along and present her to his North Carolina parents Eugene and Peg, drop-out brother Johny and his high-pregnant wife Ashley. Confronting the outsider soon opens a can of worms as emotions revive or emerge, like admiration and jealousy. Written by
When Madeline is trying to convince David Wark to sign with her company, he takes his painting off her to get closer and to talk to her, the scene cuts to a shot over her shoulder where she is seen to still be holding the painting. See more »
Phil Morrison has created a film that is among the best I've seen so far in 2005. He has taken a simple country mouse-city mouse tale and given it cosmic implications. It is the story of everyone who grew up in the boonies and then gone on to make it big in the big city. It beautifully portrays the embarrassment you feel about taking a worldly spouse back to your small hometown and its pettiness; the small-mindedness and envy of the siblings who never left town or made good; the reinvention of one's self when one moves to a big metropolis like Chicago. I did NOT feel the Bible Belt North Carolinians were stereotyped, as some viewers have remarked; I felt they were all portrayed as real people who simply had a tough time articulating their feelings, and who were just SIMPLE people...church-goers, family people who have no complexity of emotions or doubts, like city people are wont to have. The actress who played the sister-in-law was brilliant, funny and totally believable; the mother was the next Gena Rowlands; Alessandro Nivola and the girlfriend were extremely appealing ciphers (which they were supposed to be); and the unrestrained horror of their having to return to this small Southern town was so palpable, that it made watching the film very uncomfortable at times (especially if a viewer's own life resembles that of the main characters'). Deliberately underwritten, beautifully paced, it is one to remember, savor, and wind up at the Festivals. Bravo!
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