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Ballast (2008)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  19 January 2008 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,893 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 21 user | 71 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

A drama set in the Mississippi delta, where one man's suicide affects three people's lives.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Ventress Bonner ...
Teen
Jimez Alexander ...
Teen
Jean Paul Guillory ...
Teen
Marcus Alexander ...
Teen
Marquice Alexander ...
Teen
Lawrence Jackson ...
Teen
Jeremy Jordan ...
Paramedic
Steve Cabell ...
Paramedic
...
Ambulance Driver
Neil Pettigrew ...
Dispatcher (voice)
Sanjib Shrestha ...
Edit

Storyline

A single mother and her embattled son struggle to subsist in a small Mississippi Delta township. An act of violence thrusts them into the world of an emotionally devastated highway store owner, awakening the fury of a bitter and longstanding conflict. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 January 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Balast  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,572 (USA) (3 October 2008)

Gross:

$76,211 (USA) (5 December 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

I'll Wait For Jesus
Traditional
Arranged by Clora T. Handy & Ann Nichols
Performed by The Canton Gospel Chorus
Courtesy of Talk of the Town Records
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User Reviews

 
Solid Film Suffers Only Slightly from Indie-Movie Clichés
7 July 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Ballast" takes a while to draw you in, and you might give up on it before it does, but it's a film that rewards patience.

The three characters at the film's focus are Lawrence, Marlee and James, all eking out existences in the Mississippi Delta. Marlee is a single mom whose wayward son, James, is flirting with drugs, guns and other anti-social tendencies. Lawrence is the twin brother of Marlee's late husband, who has committed suicide as the film opens, and Lawrence himself is fighting depression and his own thoughts of suicide after the loss of his brother.

This bleak scenario does not become clear all at once. It takes time to figure out who these people are and what their relations are to one another. And even then, the film isn't forthcoming about everything. Marlee and Lawrence clearly have a contentious past, and we get the gist even if we don't ever learn the details. The three form a kind of tentative bond as they realize that they're all the family any of them have, and as Marlee and Lawrence begin to partner in running the convenience store the two brothers inherited from their father.

"Ballast" is one of those indie movies that makes wherever it's set look like the most depressing place on earth. There are long static shots of mundane images, like trains passing or birds taking flight, and I do have to admit that much of it felt like indie-movie cliché. But it boasts an interesting premise and a collection of good little performances, and it's certainly worth a look.

Grade: A


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