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E.F. Bloodworth has returned to his home - a forgotten corner of Tennessee - after forty years of roaming. The wife he walked out on has withered and faded, his three sons are grown and angry. Warren is a womanizing alcoholic, Boyd is driven by jealousy to hunt down his wife and her lover, and Brady puts hexes on his enemies from his mamma's porch. Only Fleming, the old man's grandson, treats him with the respect his age commands, and sees past all the hatred to realize the way it can poison a man's soul. It is ultimately the love of Raven Lee, a sloe-eyed beauty from another town, that gives Fleming the courage to reject this family curse. Written by
You don't have to enjoy or even like country music to watch this movie. I am not, nor will I ever be, a fan of country music but I really enjoyed this piece of work by director Shane Dax Taylor. The movie starts out matter-of-factly, so it's best to try and pay attention early on because there are a lot of characters coming your way and you'll start to piece out who is who after it gets going, don't worry. Thomas Wolfe said it best, "You Can't Go Home Again".
Brady Bloodworth (Brown, who also wrote the screenplay based on the novel by William Gay) receives a letter and some money in the mail that his father, E.F. (Kristofferson) is returning home after nearly 40 years on the road and news of his arrival spreads quickly throughout the small town. The story is more with his three sons and grandson, Fleming (Thompson) than it is with old E.F. himself because he caused a lot of trouble and pain when he was around last, so Brady makes sure to make him feel as un-welcome as possible. His other kids, Warren (Kilmer) and Boyd (Yoakam), have their own problems. Warren is a country big-shot and likes to throw his money around, spending it on cheap women, booze and drugs. Boyd is married but his wife is cheating on him, so he travels to Nashville to catch her in the act. Fleming is Boyd's son, but he's not like all the other Bloodworth clan -- he's not tainted. And of course, Brady, who's stuck at home, taking care of Mama (Conroy).
When Warren comes to pick up Boyd for a night on the town and then soon finds out that he's not home...he does the next best thing, he gets Fleming to drive.They drive to Louise Halfacre's (Kelley) house, one of Warren's many girlfriends. It's there that Fleming meets Raven Lee Halfacre (Duff), Louise's daughter. They walk, talk and discuss the family and come back to find Warren getting kicked out. From that point on, we already have the start of five different story lines (E.F., the 3 kids, Fleming).
It doesn't seem like much at first, but the characters are so engaging, that you'll be hooked almost immediately. Everyone involved gives an outstanding performance (Duff included), it's what makes this story work. This movie is a slice of county life livin' down South, pure and simple. The biggest problem you're going to have, at first, while watching is trying to figure out who is who. Once you've mastered that, you're set -- sit back and enjoy the show. With a story like this one, it's important to have stand-out characters such as these and actors who can actually breathe life into said characters. And Bloodworth has those bases covered. More reviews at www.soveryterry.com Final Grade: B+
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