The MichaelVox Movie Review Weblog
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September 7, 2005
San Jose -- Camera 12
Fantastically slow, careful film about culture shock. Japanese-born, British art dealer meets, falls for, and marries man from South Carolina. Upon their first meeting, she asks, "where did you come from?" and he answers, "South Carolina". Little did she know how true that would turn out to be. An art trip south is combined with a meet-the-family trip. She discovers things about him that she didn't know, things that make him more adorable and also much different than she thought he was. The standout in the cast of little-seen actors is Amy Adams who is very pregnant and says whatever comes to her simple, southern mind. The family dynamic is exposed little by little. Religion is not just something to do on Sundays down in the Southern United States.
As my buddies at Cinecast said in their review: you get the impression that these characters had lives before we meet them and their lives go on long after we've left them. There are scenes of quietness. We slowly pan through an empty living room with no one in it. It tells us what kind of family based upon the furnishings and photos and cleanliness. There is a scene in a church basement that just stops the film cold. In a good way. A song sung by a character we wouldn't have expected. We are as shocked as the art dealer. The person playing the hillbilly artist is so good as to seem like a real character who happened by the camera one day. You might recognize the main guy from LAUREL CANYON.
8.1 Critical Consensus