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Monday, February 19, 2007

Indie Pick O' The Day: Junebug

This is a subtle moderate paced film about Southern life. Basically the theme here is you can never go back home.

Junebug is about a Chicago art dealer (Madeline) and her husband (George) who decides to go back to visit his lower middle-class family in North Carolina. When Madeline needs to close a deal with a reclusive North Carolina artist, George introduces her to his family: prickly mother Peg, reticent father Eugene, cranky brother Johnny, and Johnny's pregnant, childlike wife Ashley, who is awe-struck by her glamorous sister-in-law. Madeline's presence exposes the fragile family dynamics as hidden resentments and anxieties surface.

The film has a bit of ambiguity in the end, but I don't think the director really wants to tell a definitive story in this film. It's basically the motif of you can never go back home, because sometimes when you do go back, you realize why you left in the first place. It's quirky, cute, and real. It is a very accurate portrayal of what Southern living is all about and small moments like the family singing in church and the father losing his screwdriver and instead looks in the fridge for a bite to eat are moments that are hard to forget.

Amy Adams who plays Ashley was a delight. I loved her character and she certainly deserves all of the awards received from this performance. Although her childlike quality makes her sweet and innocent, it's somewhat disturbing and sad that she is so naive to the world around her. Including the father of her child, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her.

This is a movie you can totally watch with your family on a late Sunday afternoon. It's got that sorta vibe.

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