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Joshua Michael Stern
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The distressed emotions that Arvilla Holden are feeling upon the death of her husband Joe Holden are compounded by dealing with Joe's adult daughter, Francine Packer. Joe and Arvilla were lovingly married for twenty years, and although they lived in Pocatello, Idaho - Arvilla's home town - they traveled the world on one adventure after another. Joe was from Santa Barbara, California, where Francine and the extended Holden family still live. Arvilla is certain that Joe wrote a new will after they got married, but since that will is nowhere to be found, the official will is the one that Francine has in her possession, which outlines certain things that Arvilla knows Joe would not now have wanted. That will states that Joe's embalmed body is to be interned with Francine's mother in Santa Barbara, despite Joe already having been cremated. Arvilla knows that Joe would have wanted his ashes scattered into the wind. The will also deeds the house in which Arvilla and Joe lived their entire ... Written by
Bonneville The new film from unknown director is from Christopher N. Rowley and stars Academy Award winners Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and three time nominee Joan Allen. This is the story of three extraordinary women who go on a road trip to bring one of their dead husband's ashes to his spiteful daughter from his previous marriage.
Our film opens up with the introduction of our main character Arvilla who is played marvelously by Jessica Lange whom shows the audience that she still has it in her to be an acclaimed performer. After losing her husband, Joe, while on a vacation, she returns home to cremate her husband and to spread his ashes when his daughter Francine (played by Christine Baranski known for her roles in Chicago and Cruel Intentions) has a will from years prior and orders that his ashes be returned home with her. After Arvilla claims that her will is out of date and he had made a new one she searches all over her house and comes up empty. In Francine's will he leaves his house that Arvilla and Joe lived in to her daughter and Francine is willing to trade her father's ashes in order for Arvilla to stay in the house.
Enters her two best friends; rebellious party animal, Margene (Kathy Bates) and goody prude Carol (Joan Allen) give their two sense and suggest maybe it's better to give the ashes to his daughter in order to keep her home. Arvilla has a week to return the ashes to Francine and here starts our adventure. She decides to fly out along with her friends and half way to the airport in Joe's 66' Pontiac Bonneville makes a decision to drive from her small town in Idaho to a cross country adventure.
These three women are a true delight and a testament to what love, friendship and faith are all suppose to be. This is truly a film for an older crowd of people but as young man myself, I secretly wished for a happy life to come like the one's of these women. It's an uplifting feel which brings a concentrated confidence for all people. With a breakout performance coming from a young Victor Rasuk as Bo, the film plows down the walls of vanity and brings in the sense of adoration and tenderness.
Oscar prospects go for all three women with Jessica Lange going lead and Allen and Bates for supporting. But I have to say that it's Kathy Bates who is the standout of the women and completely steals each scene she speaks in. She'll bring you to tears from her speeches about life to her wishes about death, you can't leave that theater without holding her in your heart. Allen is also great and we all know she is long overdue for her Oscar and we cannot wait for her to make it to a podium soon.
The film is a "Grumpy Old Men" meets "Boys on the Side" with a powerful touch and courageous feeling. The film will likely not hit big the awards contention but could snap and go as awards season approaches. It's playing in Toronto as a gala and could be word of mouth hit.
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