ride and read at the same time?"
Madeleine (Davidtz) needed to travel to North Carolina to
meet an exciting artist and her new husband George (Nivola) sees this as
an opportunity to introduce her to his family for the first time. As soon
as they get there however Madeleine realises that North Carolina is nothing
like Chicago and that she is very different to George's mother Peg (Weston),
father Eugene (Wilson), his brother Johnny (McKenzie) and his wife Ashley
Small independent films that offer a snippet into the lives
of a family can be magical and frustrating at the same time and 'Junebug'
is one of those movies.
Character driven movies that offer an insight into a family's
life are bread and butter of independent film. These are almost always completely
engrossing and fascinating insights into family life but always suffer from
the same problem, you always want to know more about the family and 'Junebug'
is no different.
Here we meet Madeleine and her new husband George, played
with real passion by Embeth Davidtz and Alessandro Nivola. Madeleine is
a Chicago art dealer who has discovered an artist from North Carolina but
needs to meet him to tie up the deal. George sees this as a chance to introduce
this new bride to his family. As George and Madeleine head back to North
Carolina for the first time, this is when the film really comes into its
own. George's family are nothing like anyone Madeleine has ever met before.
These are working class people who know nothing of big city life or the
type of job that she does. After been only married for six months, this
is a real eye open for Madeleine and George alike as the both of them as
they both learn many new things about each other.
George's mother Peg, father Eugene, his brother Johnny and
his wife Ashley are brilliantly played by Celia Weston, Scott Wilson, Ben
McKenzie and Amy Adams. Celia Weston's Peg is your typical disapproving
movie, who has her reservations about Madeleine. Scott Wilson doesn't really
have much to do as Dad Eugene as he is one of those fathers who says little
and will do anything for a quiet life. Ben McKenzie makes the step from
the small screen to the big screen with ease and proves there is life outside
of Orange County. As George brother Johnny, he plays a character that is
bitter over his brother's escape from the family and the fact that that
he is already trapped after getting his high school sweetheart pregnant.
Stealing the film is the performance of Amy Adams as Johnny's wife Ashley.
She is totally in awe of Madeleine, wanting to know everything about her
and wanting to spend all her time with her. This is a breakout performance
from the actress and one that will thrust her into the limelight.
'Junebug' is an exceptional character driven piece that suffers
from the fact that you want to know more about these characters. With no
real background and a conclusion that leaves you with far too many questions,
this offers you an insight into the family's life that will endear you to
the characters but will leave you wishing you had more time with them. This
should not put you off watching his wonderfully acted and superbly written
character driven movie.
Squid and the Whale
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