The Netflix Report

Movie reviews from my Netflix queue. Highly personal and opinionated!

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Junebug

This movie reminded me a lot of Bubble. In that film, an experienced director took a bunch of inexperienced actors and had them portray small town working class people caught up in lives of "quiet desperation," unable to communicate effectively.

In this film, we have a bunch of experienced actors with an inexperienced director. The story portrays small town working class people caught up in lives of "quiet desperation," unable to communicate effectively.

The problem with all these films about people who don't communicate effectively is that we are left to fill in the blanks for them. I got tired of playing charades with the director, guessing at what he wanted to say.

I thought all the actors delivered good, workable performances, but they were ill-served by a director who viewed every role as a caricature instead of a real person. Each character can be neatly summed up in a quick story-conference descriptive phrase. They never break out of their superficial personas. My favorite example was the character of George. George is what Jesus would have been if the Son of God had a few less character flaws. This guy is set up as perfection itself. There must be some reason that his younger brother hates him and asks early on if George has stopped being an asshole, but we never learn what drove him to this viewpoint. The entire movie seems to be building to a confrontation between these characters and it never occurs.

The movie is shot well and is technically proficient. The acting is fine. But I felt it was all a waste of time.

Parents note: Sex and cursing, as well as adult themes of family conflict.

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