Top positive review
27 of 34 people found this helpful
Intelligent, subtle and beautiful
on 25 July 2006
This is a wonderfully brave and unusual film in that we have the interaction between the 'red' and 'blue' states of the usa without either trying to change or revolutionise the other's way of life. Her, city-slicker 'outsider' art dealer Madeleine meets her inlaws in north carolina. What we expect is the usual prodigal son returning with new wife, and either the prodigal son to reject new wife and go back to his old ways, or for the new life to clash horrifically and destructively. Blissfully, this is not what we get in Junebug. As an outsider art dealer, madeleine is uniquely placed to let us stand shoulder to shoulder with her as an observer of this small town southern family and the emotional relationships and states that seem so foreign to her and anyone not familiar with that way of life in the audience too. We are passive, madeleine has no influence on the characters, and neither do we. What this means is that we get to, for once, see city and country as different states not in contention. one isnt shown to be better or triumphant. Instead we try to work out the nuances of the seemingly introspective and repressed characters in real time as madeleine herself is trying to. i wont spoil it by describing the simultaneous pain and harmony that is revealed in each character, but will say that the relationship between the younger brother and his child-like wife (amy adams - who was nominated for an oscar for her performance) is particularly well-written; the younger sibling disabled by his brother's return home to be at ease until his car has left the driveway, and the small tokens of love and fondness that in modern urban society seem unimportant that take over dialogue and grand gestures. brilliant - watch it!