Where do wonderful things come from? I’m sure there’s a child’s rhyme about sugar & spice and everything nice in there, but that just reminds me of that bad cheerleading movie.
One of the many things I love about IMDB is going back through a person’s filmography to find things I didn’t know about them. If you go through mine, you’ll find a weird gay poker movie. Things happen. But what’s really important is the places where people tend to shine or become discovered. Those films that made the world go — who is that?
One of my favorite “discovery” films is JUNEBUG. It’s a great North Carolina film with many recognizable faces and unrecognizable names. Maybe my favorite part about the film is how the traditional leads do so little work in this film. A Southern man meets a British woman in Chicago, marries her and finally brings her home to meet his family. Not a bad plot for a film, but JUNEBUG lives in the surrounding family, particularly the sister-in-law, played by AMY ADAMS. Adams had parts in a lot of different places before JUNEBUG, lots of TV and the Direct to Video CRUEL INTENTIONS 2, but I’m pretty sure this is the role that would have made its actress famous, as long as they were half as good.
You can’t help be notice Adams light up a scene without simply devouring the scenery. But upon further viewings, you can see the director Phil Morrison and screenwriter Angus MacLachlan do the most work with what isn’t said. Looks and glances and sighs create a world that most films can’t reach or over-inflate. Morrison hadn’t directed anything until an episode of ENLIGHTENED last year, but had EP’d two Kelly Reichardt films. He’s a tremendous person and filmmaker – looking forward to his next project. MacLachlan wrote the recent EDWARD NORTON film STONE – with a tremendous female role and not a horrible performance by Milla Jovovich.
There’s plenty to enjoy in this film, from a tremendous performance by THE WALKING DEAD’s Scott Wilson to a brief cameo by the Bonnie Prince Billy himself, Will Oldham, along with Outsider Art – which I’ve had students tell me scarred them a bit.