A dealer in "outsider" art travels from Chicago to North Carolina to meet her new in-laws, challenging the equilibrium of this middle class Southern home.

Director:

Phil Morrison
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Embeth Davidtz ... Madeleine
David Kuhn ... Auctioneer
Alessandro Nivola ... George
Alicia Van Couvering Alicia Van Couvering ... Bernadette
Jerry Minor ... Scout who stays outside
Matt Besser ... Scout who goes in
Will Oldham ... Bill Mooney, scout
Frank Hoyt Taylor ... David Wark
Scott Wilson ... Eugene
Ben McKenzie ... Johnny
Celia Weston ... Peg
Amy Adams ... Ashley
Bobby Tisdale ... Norman Venable at Replacements, Ltd.
Beth Bostic Beth Bostic ... Lucille, the neighbor
Joanne Pankow ... Sissy, David Wark's sister
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Storyline

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 KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alessandro Nivola missed the reference to his character singing a hymn when he read the script, and was unaware that he had to do so until a few days before his "singing scene" was scheduled to shoot. He only had a few days to rehearse, and his singing in the scene was recorded live, as the budget did not allow for it to be recorded on a soundstage. See more »

Goofs

In the hospital room, Ashley's hair repeatedly moves from being behind/not behind her ear between shots. See more »

Quotes

Madeleine: I even bite my toenails.
Ashley: You do not!
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Crazy Credits

A list of 121 extras is included in the credits, although these credits are given separately from the cast list, after most of the crew credits have been shown. See more »

Connections

Featured in La noche de...: Negociador (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Harmour Love
Written by Stevie Wonder
Performed by Syreeta
Courtesy of Motown Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
A Prodigal Son Has More Baggage At Home Than He Brings With Him
13 August 2005 | by noraleeSee all my reviews

"Junebug" is a ruefully sweet, clear-eyed take on the going home genre that usually takes the form of prodigal child returning due to a funeral or serious illness with guilt hanging in the air until it ignites an explosion.

Instead, debut writer Angus MacLachlan has brought "George" home to North Carolina as a coincidence of his new wife's job and life has gone on without him and will continue when he's gone again.

Debut director Phil Morrison does a lovely job of visually establishing how each person in the family has staked out their physical space and roles within the family, even as sounds and light uncomfortably carry through the walls and beyond the rooms. I haven't seen every inch of a normal house used as a movie setting so intensively since "The Brothers McMullen," complete with blowing up an air mattress in the nursery.

Those scenes contrast with how different the family members are outside that house, such as the sullen, angry brother (Benjamin McKenzie) perking up comfortably with his fellow warehouse workers and "George" easily fitting back into a church service.

While the usual is to have the spouse's estranged family be colorfully ethnic or straight-laced WASP as a comic contrast, a la the "Meet the Fockers" mode, here they are complicated rural folk and are not condescended to, even as no good deed goes unpunished. Both sides receive their share of mockery and sympathy from the story; everyone's hypocrisy and humanity are revealed and at least two scenes bring tears to the eyes, one touching and the other sad.

While everyone is speaking English, the miscommunications abound, though it is a bit heavy-handed to have the English-bred wife coach the brother on "Huckleberry Finn," let alone her bizarre negotiations with a probably crazy local artist. Each either takes a comment too literally or misinterprets passive aggressive silences; what people don't say comes to be more important than what they do say, as even Amy Adams' wonderfully chatty character is warm-heartedly mature and caring.

The big, annoying weakness of the film, and keeps it from being a satisfying film, is the vague character of the prodigal son. While it seems that his older, folk art collecting wife probably lusted after him at first sight because he was the first cute straight guy who walked into her gallery (and I assume there is some significance that he buys the painting that doesn't make him happy), their quickie marriage seem to be based only on newlywed randiness, as everything seems to turn them on. Taking after his father busy woodworking away in the basement, he pretty much sloths out in the house or car, so it is confusing hypocrisy when he suddenly steps up to the plate in an emergency, accuses his wife of not putting family first and then bails on the follow up.

Alessandro Nivola well portrays a literal golden boy who is, of course, his mother's heart's delight and in her eyes can do no wrong (even he acknowledges that his new wife is bound to discover his faults), though people who have different positions in their families may interpret the sibling behaviors in different ways. But the film only shows us how people react to him and very little about him other than his casual sense of entitlement, though the mostly silent guy to guy communication is realistic.

Other than one superbly beautiful hymn sung by Nivola (he also sang well as rock star in "Laurel Canyon"), the soundtrack does not take the T. Bone Burnett traditional songs approach, but instead has a score by Hoboken, NJ's own Yo La Tengo that doesn't take sides between the country or the big city.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 September 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Junebug See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$74,739, 7 August 2005

Gross USA:

$2,678,691

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,399,228
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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