Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1999. Columbia Pictures, Green Moon Productions, Global Entertainment Productions GmbH & Company Medien KG. Screenplay by Mark Childress, based on his novel. Cinematography by Julio Macat. Produced by Linda Goldstein Knowlton, Debra Hill, Meir Teper, Diane Isaacs. Music by Mark Snow. Production Design by Cecilia Montiel. Costume Design by Graciela Mazon. Film Editing by Maysie Hoy, Robert C. Jones.
Melanie Griffith is absolutely wonderful in this offbeat comedy directed by first-timer Antonio Banderas. She plays a free-spirited woman who rids herself from her abusive husband by chopping off his head and putting it in a hatbox which she carries with her all the way to Hollywood, where she plans on becoming a big star. Across the country her bighearted nephew (Lucas Black) is battling racism and prejudice by standing up to a bully of a sheriff (Meat Loaf) and bearing witness to the murder of a young black boy who wanted to swim in the local ‘whites-only’ pool. Mixing the two plots creates just the oddest story you’ll get to see, and for that reason audiences will react with either loving or hating the film. I however, was charmed, partly by Banderas’ unobtrusive and free-spirited style of directing, and partly by Griffith’s continuing ability to radiate warmth across the screen and carry an entire movie without ever letting the tiniest bit of strain show. Black is particularly notable in this imaginative tall tale, southern-fried.
Venice Film Festival: In Competition