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Cotton (2014)

A reluctant faith healer tries to escape his darkened past until his predatory evangelist mother tracks him down, stopping at nothing to get her son and his miraculous gifts back on the revival circuit.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Clay Peaks
...
Cotton Welles
...
Maggie Mae Cooper-Welles
...
Maxine
...
Jeanie
...
Emily Peaks
...
Carl Johnson
...
Davis
...
Latin Man
Tom Tangen ...
The Preacher
...
Nadine
Andre Agazaryan ...
Tommy
...
12 Apostle Choir Member
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Luis Arellano ...
Revival Church Member
Christian Ascencio ...
Law Enforcement Officer
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Storyline

A reluctant faith healer tries to escape his darkened past working as a ranch hand for a plain-spoken widower and his young daughter. Over time, he becomes a part of their family and even falls in love with the local girl who helps out at the ranch, giving him hope that he may have finally found a place to call home. But, his fragile dreams are shattered when his predatory evangelist mother tracks him down, stopping at nothing to get her son and his miraculous gifts back on the revival circuit. Written by Anonymous

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Do You Believe?

Genres:

Drama

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25 December 2014 (USA)  »

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Good performances make up for a bland story
19 April 2015 | by See all my reviews

I recently got a chance to see a screening of "Cotton" at the Milledgeville Film Festival. I went in with literally no expectations other than that Gary Cole, an actor I'm a fan of, was in it. Overall, the performances themselves are what make this film. Gary Cole gives what may actually be one of his better performances as the well-meaning father Clay Peaks. It's a different role for him, and one that he plays with subtlety and restraint. I generally think of him as a comic actor, but after having seen this film, I wouldn't mind seeing some more dramatic work from him.

Relative unknown Erik Smith plays the title character of Cotton Welles. Despite the marketing mainly focusing on Cole, this is Smith's movie. Cotton could have been a flat character, but Smith's nuanced performance gives him a certain depth and a great deal of relatability. Lusia Strus also gives a solid performance as the antagonist, Smith's overbearing mother. She chews the scenery much more than the other performers and the end result is actually very powerful and memorable.

The story itself is where it falls flat. Cotton Welles is a genuine faith healer who runs away from his ability only to have his mother track him down and try to force him to use it, growing more and more desperate. The plot beats themselves are very predictable and occasionally fall into clichés, including a completely shoehorned romantic subplot that felt awkward and rushed. The movie is competently directed and has good cinematography, but it just doesn't do anything new in terms of storytelling. Ultimately, I'm glad I got to see this film, but it was more for the performances themselves than for the actual script. If nothing else it's worth seeing Gary Cole tackle a purely dramatic role.


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