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Junebug
DVD disk
01.17.2006 By: Scott Weinberg
Junebug order
Director:
Phil Morrison

Actors:
Embeth Davidtz
Amy Adams
Allesandro Nivola

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A high-class gallery owner travels to North Carolina with her new husband in an effort to land an impressively strange new artist, stopping along the way to meet up with hubby's rustic clan.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I know what you're thinking already: "Aha, it's the old 'snooty new wife turns into a fish out of water while visiting her backwoods-wacky in-laws!" And seeing as how we're inundanted with movies like SWEET HOME ALABAMA and MEET THE PARENTS, I don't think it's your fault if you expect the very worst from a concept like this one.

But JUNEBUG is the farthest thing from cookie-cutter moviemaking you're likely to come across this year ... unless you visit a lot of film festivals. This is an endearingly odd, strangely amusing, subtly touching, and masterfully crafted pice of indie filmmaking. On paper, JUNEBUG might sound like something you've already seen a dozen times. But movies aren't made on paper, silly.

Embeth Davidtz (yep, the same hottie who once starred in ARMY OF DARKNESS) plays Madeline, a character you're just sure is about to become a snooty, selfish, snob ... but it never actually happens. The great character actor Scott Wilson wanders around the frame of the flick, stopping occasionally to deliver something quietly clever or sadly sweet. But the sparkling diamond of this indie ensemble has got to be Ms. Amy Adams, here playing an extremely pregnant sister-in-law who's as painfully sweet as she is adorably childlike. I've already seen Ms. Adams' name perched atop several "best performance of '05" lists, and I honestly cannot say that I'd argue with those accolades.

THE EXTRAS
The best extra would have to be the leading-lady audio commentary with Embeth Davidtz and Amy Adams. The ladies maintain a warm and informative conversation, sharing fond memories of the shoot and some solid insights into the finished product.

Five separate featurettes focus on different aspects of the JUNEBUG production. Faces and Places (3:30) is a walk around the location with Amy Adams; Singing a Hymn (5:23) deals with actor Allesandro Nivola's song-making scene; Meerkats Gone Wild (3:04) takes a look at one of actor Ben McKenzie's funnier scenes; Ashley (2:35) centers on Amy Adams' painfully adorable character; and All About Peg (2:47) throws a spotlight on the matriarch played by Celia Weston.

You'll also find a collection of 10 deleted scenes, a pair of casting sessions with Amy Adams and Ben McKenzie, a photo gallery of the art used in the movie, and a bunch of trailers for CAPOTE, BREAKFAST ON PLUTO, THE MEMORY OF A KILLER, THUMBSUCKER, 2046, HEIGHTS, THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, and THE TENANTS.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If low-key, offbeat, and seriously sincere 'character study'-type movies don't turn you off, then be sure to give JUNEBUG a rental sometime soon. It's the diametric opposite of a "remove your brain" popcorn flick, and I mean that as a big compliment.
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