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Nonames (2010)

 |  Drama  |  27 March 2010 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 105 users  
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About a tight group of friends living in a small, forgotten, Wisconsin town. The story revolves around Kevin and his fight to find a new life for himself after 30 years of going nowhere.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Officer Dale
Mr. Williams
Mrs. Ellis
Casey Greig ...
Dan Hopman ...


Inspired by true events, NONAMES follows Kevin and his family of friends as they struggle within the confines of a small town. After his mother's death, Kevin decides to make a life for himself in his childhood home in spite of his father's decision to move. In the wake of tragedy, Kevin must end his extended adolescence or lose the things he holds most dear. Haunted by unsettled scores, it becomes clear that he must leave the town he loves in order to save himself from it. A new beginning is only a bus ride away. Written by Method Fest

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's easy to be forgotten when you let your life fade away





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27 March 2010 (USA)  »

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2.35 : 1
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It Takes a Child To Raise a Town
26 July 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When I was twelve, the children of Chillicothe, Illinois participated in a project at our local library. We were to each interview a local business owner and write a brief essay on their role in the community, which would later be compiled into a book available on the counter-tops of every coffee shop and thrift store in town. I was assigned to interview a resident of the local nursing home, a feisty elderly woman named Mary Ellen. During the interview, we talked about the good old days, about drive ins and rumble seats, about the days when Chillicothe was still the picturesque Midwestern small town we still like to imagine it is. "The young folks just don't stay anymore," said Mary Ellen sadly, "But I don't blame them, they get offered jobs somewhere else and they up and take off. It just isn't how it used to be."

The film "Nonames" is about a man living a life that is just not how it used to be. Kevin's (James Badge Dale) mother died when he was nine. He began smoking and hanging out with the local bad boys even before her funeral was over. Years later, his family, balking under the withering effects of the absence of their maternal bedrock, decides to pack up and start anew in the big city. Kevin stays behind. As time progresses, with no family and no shortage of booze and drugs, Kevin is a rebel without a cause. His days are spent in the bar with his buddies or stirring up trouble at the town's Fourth of July celebration, in a scene that anybody from a small town would be familiar with. The film is set in the fictional town of Dexter, Wisconsin. Even if the name isn't familiar, the abundance of plaid flannel and beer guts are a definite nod to Wisconsin's indigenous barflies.

Life in Dexter is set in neutral. Motivation is looking forward to a game of pool and a beer (or two or three) at the end of the day. The obvious choice for anyone who has any ambition is departure. The shortage of progressive thinkers has left the town stuck in time. The old-folks are content with this lifestyle, but for the adrenaline-filled under thirties, it's a matter of survival of the fittest. Grudges stick, and the convenience of knowing the local police chief by name is constantly put into play.

Everybody tells Kevin that he will never amount to anything if he stays in Dexter, but he is hell-bent on proving them wrong. After receiving a sum of money from his mother's death, which quickly materializes into a sports car and a sprawling white house, Kevin and his girlfriend CJ (Gillian Jacobs) briefly taste an idealized happiness that is not to last. Progression is as essential to humans as breathing and when we try to halt it, we run the risk of self-destruction. The image of small town America, of eating the world's best pie at a family-style diner, and sitting on a wraparound porch watching the world go by as an unruly rose of Sharon tickles our hair is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Golden arches are replacing hand-painted restaurant signs and you will likely be met with a blank stare if you try to tell a twelve year old kid about sitting in the rumble seat at the drive in.

Kevin's story is based on the true story of director Kathy Lindboe's brother, but it is also the story of losing yourself while trying to hold on to something that is no longer there. I myself was born in a small Wisconsin town, home to an opera house turned movie theater where I attended a screening of "Nonames." As I write this in the local ice cream shop, I watch the townsfolk troop by in a parade of camouflage baseball caps and, of course, plaid flannel. I look at them and wonder just how many "Kevins" there are out there; waiting for something more, wanting to get at it, and wondering just what "it" is.

The saying "grow where you are planted" comes to mind, but deprived of nourishment, even the toughest plant will wither and die. Mary Ellen had a point, why should the "young folk" stay where they cannot grow, when all the doors in the world are open for them? It takes a great deal of bravery to say goodbye to the things we hold most dear, but it takes even more to create a better world right where you are planted, and even if we don't survive, we can at least say we tried.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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