Successful Carolinian George Johnsten meets Chicago art gallery owner Madeleine at an electoral benefit art auction- love at first sight. Madeleine decides to meet a Southern original artist, so George seizes the opportunity to come along and present her to his North Carolina parents Eugene and Peg, drop-out brother Johny and his high-pregnant wife Ashley. Confronting the outsider soon opens a can of worms as emotions revive or emerge, like admiration and jealousy.Written by
Alessandro Nivola and Embeth Davidtz, play husband and wife George and Madeleine in this film, had previous played brother and sister Henry Crawford and Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park (1999). See more »
When Madeline is trying to convince David Wark to sign with her company, he takes his painting off her to get closer and to talk to her, the scene cuts to a shot over her shoulder where she is seen to still be holding the painting. See more »
An excellent study of characters with a strong sense of place.
A very intelligent script, with direction that does it justice. Rather than spelling out exactly what we're supposed to be thinking and feeling at every moment, the filmmakers respect the audience's ability to infer meaning from the mood and tone, from the light in a frame or the ambient noise of a scene (or, for that matter, from the complete silence in which we occasionally are allowed to contemplate the house and small town where the story is set). As for the actors, they must have been thrilled to have the chance to play such complex, well-rounded characters, each of them at times being fine and even something like noble, at other times frustrating and perhaps even cruel. Just like real people, in other words. Amy Adams deserves the praise she's received for a role that could have easily been a caricature, but I'd like to also mention Embeth Davidtz for her precise and empathetic work in another part that might have easily been done in a hackneyed way.
All through this film, there are moments where we fear that its makers are going to settle for the cliché, but they never do. By the end, we feel that we've learned a great deal about the characters and the community which produced them, and we also sense that we'll never fully grasp all of their mysteries and contradictions. Very fine work from everyone involved.
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