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
Ashley's monologue about cheerleading and meerkats was used for Amy Adams' audition. The scene was also later used on the talk-show circuit when Adams was promoting the film. 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 »
Greetings again from the darkness. Director Phil Morrison and Writer Angus MacLachlan collaborated on "Tater Tomater", which was featured at 1990's Sundance Festival. Together again, they have created a nice home-spun tapestry of family relationships. Despite its seemingly bizarre group of characters, we find ourselves easily relating to the difficulties in understanding and communicating with those in our family - those who should be most like us.
The filmmakers have assembled a cast of mostly veteran actors, but no Hollywood "stars". The most recognizable is Benjamin McKenzie ("The O.C.") who plays the simmering quiet little brother whose wife, played brilliantly by Amy Adams, is with child. Others include Embeth Davidtz as the wife of prodigal son George (Alessandro Nivola, who played Pollux Troy in the underrated "Face/Off"); an electric Frank Hoyt Taylor as the off-center civil war artist David Wark; and veterans Celia Weston and Scott Wilson as the parents of the feuding boys. As a point of interest look for Saturday Night Live alum Victoria Jackson as one of the nurses.
Although the film's heart and soul is the theme of family and the stress it creates, while somehow producing the draw that cannot be ignored, it also does a really wonderful job of capturing the spirit of southern small time living. At the center of all of this is Amy Adams, who literally steals the film as the eternally optimistic and determined "firecracker" Ashley. Her performance is outstanding, multi-layered, thought-provoking and genuine. Kind of doubt that this film will receive the necessary attention to have her nominated for an Academy Award, but she deserves one.
This is a necessarily slow-moving film that can be uncomfortable to watch, while at the same time causing you to smile, laugh and even tear up.
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