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Michael T. Ringer,
The sins of the fathers. In a town near Little Rock, Lucy Fowler works hard for a construction firm; on weekends she drinks, goes home with someone, and come early morning, wakes and leaves as fast as she can. She cares a lot about her father, newly back in town, a painfully shy man who has nothing to say to her. She does go to a Holy Roller church with him about the same time that she starts, fitfully, a relationship with Cal Percell, new in town and a good guy. She kisses him sober, but still has demons to confront. What's the source of her careless ways; can she turn coal into a diamond?Written by
"I'm just an ol' chunk of coal, baby/But I'm gonna be a diamond someday"
Talented Joey Lauren Adams wrote and directed this marvelous slice-of-life about a hard, stubborn, unapologetic young woman's journey to finding some self-worth in her quietly turbulent existence; she attempts to get her head in a good place and make peace with the past, but learns it doesn't all come into play overnight. Ashley Judd is just wonderful in this role: gritty, tremulous, tough but never dumbed-down. She evokes just the right touch of devil-may-care recklessness with a kind of horse-sense which should resonate with a lot of viewers. If you ever come across this theatrical film playing on the Lifetime TV network, don't be fooled into thinking it's a cable-quickie. Adams puts a lot of thought into her prose (sometimes too much, as the conversations have a tendency to have an already-worked-out give and take). The film is flawed, certainly, yet its scattershot hopefulness permeates through, and the performances are rich and memorable. A rewarding character-study, and a small triumph for both creator Adams and star Judd, marking a welcome return to serious acting. *** from ****
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