- Phil Morrison
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Wednesday, April 05, 2006
George (Alessandro Nivola) and her wife Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz) decide to pay a visit to his family in North Carolina where she has to go to negotiate a potential art deal. His very pregnant sister Ashley (Amy Adams) is the most excited about the visit, perhaps because life is dull with her estranged husband Johnny (Ben McKenzie) and her parents, Peg (Celia Watson) and Eugene (Scott Wilson).
The moment Junebug starts you already know what kind of movie it will be. By that I mean arty, a bit pretentious, weirdly edited and very personal. The kind of independent movie in which there was not much money involved and the director (in this case Phil Morrison) is licensed to do whatever he wants to do with it, out of conventional boundaries. Sometimes the approach is refreshing, but sometimes it wears out its outcome. Truth is, nothing changed after I saw this movie. It was a good time with a lot of nice moments, but my life would still be the same if I hadn’t seen it at all.
Something I liked about it is its immediacy and how real it is in the depiction of the clash between the son who now lives in a big city and his old-fashioned small-town family, and the awkwardness of the visit. Another recent, and excellent, movie dealt with this same situation, The Family Stone, but here the crudeness of it all is more apparent and more palpable. Entertainment-wise that’s not necessarily a plus, but it does what it has to do, and the way the relationships evolve feels real. So real that at the end of the movie I don’t think anything changed at all.
The movie contains some amusing scenes, but it also drags here and there, especially when Madeleine pays visits to the painter she’s trying to woo into working with her. Bo-ring.
And I loved where the name of the movie came from.
Thing is, the movie works for one reason alone: Amy Adams. Well, it’s actually a combination of her character and her performance. If it wasn’t for her I think I would’ve killed myself. She’s amazing, turning a character who could’ve been caricature into the most touching and heartbreaking woman I’ve seen on-screen this year. She lights the screen with her ingenuity and good-nature, but you can sense glimpses of something more that lies beneath. I was floored. The rest of the cast works wonderfully together, I loved all the performances.
“You were not!”
CriticSociety en Twitter | CriticSociety en Facebook
Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter