Billy is released after five years in prison. In the next moment, he kidnaps teenage student Layla and visits his parents with her, pretending she is his girlfriend and they will soon marry... See full summary »
North Carolina 1863, the Civil War is raging. In this inspired story of tragedy and love we follow the lives of Melody, a precocious seven-year old, and her young mother Sarah as they struggle on their farm to survive during the Civil War.
In rural Mississippi, Lazarus, a former blues musician who survives by truck farming, finds a young girl nearly beaten to death near his home. She's the white-trash town tramp, molded by a life of sexual abuse at the hands of her father and verbal abuse from her mother, who seems to delight in reminding Rae of her mistake in not aborting her. Lazarus, who is also facing personal crisis at the dissolution of his marriage, nurses Rae back to health, providing her with gentle, fatherly advice as well as an education in blues music. Rae's boyfriend, Ronnie, goaded by the man who nearly beat Rae to death, misunderstands the relationship between Lazarus and Rae, and vows to kill him. Lazarus, exhibiting a street-smart understanding of violence and its motives, calls Ronnie's bluff, senses that he is as troubled as Rae, and becomes a guiding force in the young couple's resurrection. Written by
We just saw this film previewed before release at the Norfolk (VA) Film Forum, and there was general agreement on two matters: There were excellent performances in a first rate drama by the two leads and by others: and secondly, the marketing for this movie will only bring disaster. We saw a lurid poster with chains and suggestive commentary implying some sort of wacko sexual relationship between Samuel Jackson and Cristina Ricci, whereas the movie has some real depth and some thoughtful ideas. What's sad is that people looking for near porn will be drawn in to see the film and will be disappointed because it will be too "heavy" for them, while the people who would really enjoy it wouldn't be caught dead walking into the theater showing it. Too bad. A good film wasted.
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