Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 2002. Anarchist’s Convention Films. Screenplay by John Sayles. Cinematography by Patrick Cady. Produced by Maggie Renzi. Music by Mason Daring. Production Design by Mark Ricker. Costume Design by Mayes C. Rubeo. Film Editing by John Sayles. National Board of Review Awards 2002. Online Film Critics Awards 2002.
John Sayles has dealt with different American states in many of the films he’s made in the last fifteen or so years, this time giving us a slice of life from the orange-growing capital of the world, Florida. The story features an endless slew of characters and their involvement in the corporate takeover of the state’s green pastures for the purposes of further commercial development. It focuses mainly on the stories of two separate women who only meet once at the beginning of the film: Edie Falco plays a motel and restaurant manager who is tired of her day-to-day life and is looking quite favourably at the idea of selling her property to the industry giants who want to turn it into a strip mall; Angela Bassett is a prodigal daughter visiting her mother (Mary Alice) for the first time in years, just in time to help save their neighborhood from being developed. As in all of Sayles’s films, the characters and their situations couldn’t possibly be more real, but unlike his classic Passion Fish, this one’s story doesn’t have enough momentum to sustain total interest for two and a half hours.