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Phil Morrison

Directed by: Phil Morrison
(Epoch Films)
Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz) is an art dealer in Chicago, recently married to southerner George (Alessandro Nivola), who is some years her junior. Her pursuit of work by a North Carolina outsider artist allows the new couple to visit the rural in-laws from whom George has been emotionally and geographically distanced. Director Phil Morrison and writer Angus MacLachlan have created a lovely first feature which effortlessly defines the differences in values between the so-called red and blue American states through suggestion and observation, not judgement. The characters are fully fleshed, and the camera lingers unobtrusively with them through a script peppered with familial moments both painful and hilarious. Amy Adams, as the very pregnant sister-in-law Ashley, is a stand-out performance, but the ensemble shines and the sense of time and place lingers, insinuating through shots of empty rooms and summery, southern afternoons. This is the best film of 2005 that didn’t open in Halifax cinemas.
—Carsten Knox


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