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Junebug (2005)

Cast: Amy Adams, Amy Adams, Embeth Davidtz, more...
Director: Phil Morrison, Phil Morrison
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Rating:
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Comedies, Drama, Independent, Dysfunctional Families
Running Time: 106 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: French
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Synopsis
Phil Morrison, who collaborated with screenwriter Angus MacLachlan for his acclaimed 1990 short, Tater Tomater, joins forces with MacLachlan again for his feature-film debut, Junebug. Junebug takes place in rural North Carolina. Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz), a sophisticated Chicagoan who owns a gallery devoted to "outsider art," goes south in an effort to woo an eccentric painter (Frank Hoyt Taylor) to her gallery. She brings along her husband, George (Alessandro Nivola), a native of the area, and the couple stays with his family. Peg (Celia Weston), George's mother, gives Madeleine a rather chilly greeting, and seems to think she's a poor match for her eldest son, while his father, Eugene (Scott Wilson), is a bit more welcoming, in his quiet way. George's younger brother, Johnny (Ben McKenzie), is still living at home with his very pregnant wife, Ashley (Amy Adams), and seems to feel nothing but resentment for George. For her part, Ashley is a gregarious young woman, and she's immediately smitten with her "new sister." Junebug was selected by the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center for inclusion in the 2005 edition of New Directors/New Films. ~ Josh Ralske, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

"I don't want your water breaking. We just had the upholstery cleaned." by underdog March 16, 2006 - 3:18 PM PST
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7 out of 7 members found this review helpful
I felt compelled to defend this film since it's received some negative reviews here - and everyone's entitled to their opinion, of course! But for whatever its flaws (and in my mind that would only be that it's occasionally a bit listless since it's not exactly plot-driven, and a couple of the relationships are a little underdeveloped) - Phil Morrison's film is a chance for a terrific ensemble, from Benjamin McKenzie (a long way from the OC) to Brits Alessandro Nivola and Embeth Davidtz, the underrated Scott Wilson as the put-upon, soft-spoken father, and most unforgettably, the Oscar-nominated Amy Adams, who absolutely steals the film as the young sister-in-law, pregnant and (naively) optimistic and cheerful. She's also incredibly talkative, masking some underlying pain, due in part to her marriage to the inattentive Johnny (McKenzie). Adams is dynamite, while the rest of the cast settles in nicely, in what is - according to both my own experiences and those of friends of mine from North Carolina, where this film is set - a fairly realistic, non-condescending portrayal of its people; warts and all they're flesh and blood creations and the art dealer character played by Davidtz, who is the outsider bringing the audience into this family's world, slowly comes to terms with who they are.

Morrison's direction is polished and pleasingly unhurried, with an extremely keen eye for a sense of place. If the drama unspools a little too early, it remains a slice of dysfunctional family life far superior to Hollywood attempts (see Meet the Parents/Fockers, for example, films that play it all for obnoxious laughs, taking the easy way out, rather than striving for the truth.) And this film is true.

Yecch! by Smartypants March 15, 2006 - 7:18 PM PST
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2 out of 7 members found this review helpful
Slympd's above review is dead on. This is an awful, and awfully overrated film.

Despite my being a self-admitted Blue State elitist, I was embarrassed by how Junebug portrays all Southerners as cretinous morons. It surprised me that Celia Weston, one of the cast who I believe does hail from the South, would agree to appear in a film that perpetuates Southern stereotypes in such disrespectful manner. Pass on this one.

Bad acting and dull plot by Slympd February 20, 2006 - 11:23 AM PST
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1 out of 8 members found this review helpful
We were very disappointed by this movie. The acting was mediocre to bad, and the plot was dull. Just because the director is trying for realism, doesn't excuse such poor acting and direction.

If this is the south, I'll stay in the Bay Area.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 6.81)
150 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2005
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Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
kraigpdx
100 Best English Language Films That I've Seen
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Alphabetical Order: Best English Narratives in the World
MDallum

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