Year: 2005
Production Co: Epoch Films
Director: Phil Morrison
Cast: Amy Adams, Embeth Davidtz, Allesandro Nivola
Rave reviews in the US drove the success of this film, and yes there is a distinctive style and some great, mature characterisations.

It seems an essentially bleak story, of a young man (Nivola) who's done his best to escape his simpleton southern family, one he sees as trailer trash. Despite this, his urbane, intelligent art dealer wife tries her best to get along with everyone, going above and beyond in the case of her brother in law, who's virtual abusive treatment of her warrants a much colder response than she gives him.

The shining light in the film is Amy Adams as the terminally cheerful all southern gal, who loves everybody and everything in a world not prepared to give her respect for it - not even her own oafish, ungrateful husband.

Davidtz is great as the outsider, and she has a real solidity and gravity. Nivola is MIA much of the time, leaving Davidtz and Adam to enjoy much of the interaction.

Story wise it's nothing outstanding, and I think it was the performances that wowed critics so much.

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