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 »
Though it's been some twenty years since they have spoken with one another, two estranged soul-singing legends agree to participate in a reunion performance at the Apollo Theater to honor their recently deceased band leader.
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
I watched this movie at the first showing available in my area, and it was quite clear that most people didn't get the movie. Even if you don't, it's a good movie with some interesting character development. It is a thoroughly human story about some very imperfect people in a backwoods southern town, and really speaks to the root of the blues. If you don't know what the "Black Snake Moan" is by the time you leave the theater, you didn't get it. And no.. it's not just a song. Christina Ricci does a great job and is thoroughly convincing in her role, as is Samuel L Jackson. I think this is his best performance since his role in Pulp Fiction, and probably his best including that because of the range of his character in BSM. The rest of the cast is solid, with a few shining performances here and there, particularly John Cothran Jr as Reverend R. L.. I'm a very selective movie watcher, and this film honestly rates among my favorites because of its candid look at race, sex, religion and neurosis in a rural southern town, along with its cinematic genius, in my opinion.
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