Sunday, September 19, 2010

Movie: Junebug

In many ways Junebug was a good movie. I found it thought-provoking and interesting but too slow in places. It’s like a book where the author stops the story and goes on for several paragraphs describing a still, isolated landscape or object—and it’s not Pat Conroy. The camera spent a minute or more on insects flying over grass, and several times it showed a still view of some woods—the same view at the same time of day—by the third time it began to look like a stock photo they’d plugged in as filler. It lingered on an empty kitchen table with light coming through the windows behind it a number of times. Very strange cinematography. I think this is what Elmore Leonard means when he says to leave out the boring parts.

The cast was superb. The picture of the South was somewhat exaggerated—geez, no wonder people think we’re weird. The crazy folk artist had such a strange accent I missed much of what he said.

One question is how the older son (Alessandro Nivola) emerged from that family to what he is now—a sophisticated, well-spoken young man of infinite cool and empathy. He’s married to a sexy, even more sophisticated art gallery owner (Embeth Davidtz). Amy Adams, as Ashley, the very pregnant daughter-in-law, was perfect. So were the parents. They're not my idea of a middle-class southern family, but that's how Angus MacLachlan, the writer, (or maybe just the marketing folks) described them. It’s worth seeing, especially when Nivola sings an old hymn at a church supper. Really beautiful.


Sandy Cody said...

Now I have to see the movie. We lived in the south for a number of years and I'm never happy with how the place and people are shown by others. Nice review.

Ellis Vidler said...

We always come off as weird and ignorant--and usually as sly and conniving. Having a Southern accent is like waving a flag saying Dumb. But at least these people are portrayed as sincere. Is that progress?

Polly said...

Not being a student of accents, and being a Yankee who transplanted to the South, I still find some people hard to understand. I also hear many different accents, even in my town, and I know those people grew up there. The movie sounds interesting. Wonder why it's never been on TV.

Ellis Vidler said...

Probably because of nudity and sex. It would most likely have to be on cable at least.
There are many different accents in the South (as I'm sure there are everywhere), but the artist's was unique.