Thursday, November 19, 2009

JUNEBUG (2005)

Starring: Amy Adams
Director: Phil Morrison

Phil Morrison's Junebug has many of the elements expected from American independent films. It is character driven, offers a geographically specific location that is rarely seen in American films, and features lead characters who change in small and possibly, depending on one's appreciation of the film, profound ways. The strengths of the film are in the women. Embeth Davidtz plays Madeline, the sophisticated art dealer visiting the rural backwater that is home to her husband's family. She manages to make a character that should be unsympathetic very empathetic mostly because she does nothing consciously to offend her hosts' sensibilities. Hers is a finely modulated performance. Amy Adams, as the talkative sister-in-law who desires to gain some of Madeline's worldliness, serves up a great performance. The character lacks the prejudice seen in the other characters. Her performance is as open as her character, full of wide-eyed wonder and -- when the time comes -- deeply felt sadness. She portrays all of these emotions without ever sounding a false or actorly note. (106 mins.)

My Rating: ***

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