Site not look beautiful? Click here

SCREEN

JUNEBUG

Josh Bell

Morrison's debut feature is a slow-paced slice of Southern life that is alternately sweet and frustrating. Davidtz plays Chicago art gallery owner Madeleine, who specializes in works by outsider artists. Married to the mysterious George (Nivola), who never quite gets around to having a personality, she finds herself in alien territory when they visit his family in a small North Carolina town.


Ostensibly, they are there for Madeleine to court an eccentric painter, but soon the family dynamics take over their lives. Sophisticated Madeleine doesn't know how to deal with George's family, which includes a passive-aggressive mother, a taciturn father, a sullen brother and his ridiculously upbeat, pregnant wife.


Morrison and writer Angus MacLachlan are both from the Deep South, so it's hard to accuse them of condescension when it comes to depicting small-town life. But in its evenhandedness, the film only ends up patronizing both country and city dwellers, its story is predictable, and Adams turns in a scenery-chewing performance. Despite the best of intentions, Junebug never quite comes together.

  • Get More Stories from Thu, Sep 1, 2005
Top of Story