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||IMDB Rating: 6.3/10 from 2,054 votes
||Release: 25 July 2013 (Netherlands) /
||Director: Billy Bob Thornton,
||Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Carissa Capobianco, Frances O'Connor, Irma P. Hall, John Hurt, John Patrick Amedori, Karli Barnett, Katherine LaNasa, Kevin Bacon, Marshall Allman, Ray Stevenson, Robert Duvall, Robert Patrick, Ron White, Shawnee Smith
||Synopsis: A young man in the 1940s raises a family in Alabama after his wife leaves him for an Englishman and moves to England. When the wife dies, she leaves a request to be brought back to Alabama to be buried, and at that point the man hasn't seen her in nearly 30 years. The two families - her original family she abandoned and her English family - meet and make an attempt to adjust to each other, with uneven results. Written by alfiehitchie
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I was a bit shocked at how much negative press Billy Bob Thornton's
latest effort has received in the mainstream critical media. It's been
called racist, homophobic, grating, and stereotypically one-note.
Perhaps these reviewers couldn't take the time to appreciate the
delicate patina glazed onto the top of this heavy Southern Gothic brew,
not only by some stellar star turns, but from Thornton and Tom
Epperson's sly, knowing script that bravely refuses to villainize any
of the array of characters, no matter how crass or pig-headed their
behavior first appears.
I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical of Thornton when he first
appeared with the break-out "Sling Blade," even though the short it was
culled from was anything but slight. I thought he'd be one of these
rural "artistes" who falls back on sentimentality and clichéd
characters when he didn't have much to say. Jayne Mansfield's Car,
however, proves that glib assessment was dead, dead wrong.
The strongest aspect of this film is it's script, which does what every
extraordinary movie does well: drops you into another place and time
that---at first glance, anyway---you'd ordinarily shrug your shoulders
and walk away from, then gives you every reason you shouldn't: it's
populated with people who are confused, conflicted, and multi-faceted
to the point where they don't seem to recognize each other any more,
even after living in the same house for decades.
The casting is impeccable and Thornton has an incredibly light-touch
with all of them. Robert Duvall does what he does best: providing the
anchoring figure of Jim Senior with an authority and gravitas that he
can express with a lift of an eyebrow. His three sons are wrought over
a nice spectrum of angst: Thornton's Skip, the ne'er do well middle son
who did everything right but was always a bit too "off" to be dad's
shining star. That honor went to Jimbo (Jim Jr., a ferocious Robert
Patrick) who played closer to the mold but never saw combat as Skip and
Carroll (Kevin Bacon) did, thus considering himself a failure. Skip and
Carroll live with scars and resentments from their own tours of duty in
WWII and Vietnam, respectively and their anti-war sentiments continue
to draw them further from Duvall, in every sense of the word.
Even though the crux of the drama revolves around the return of
Duvall's wayward recently deceased wife (Tippi Hedren, a pretty darn
good corpse), who divorced him for Englishmen John Hurt 15 years
before, the canvas of this film is really about the tortured relations
between fathers and sons, and the cost of war and death and what it
"means to be a man." The War angle is particularly intriguing in that
it plays out in the heart of Alabama in the late-sixties, where the
malingering odor of Vietnam melts into the residues of a century of
warfare, the star of which is the ghost of the Civil War.
The culture-clash aspect is amusing and well-played, but not even
remotely why you should see the movie. The script ensures you know the
characters so well, that all that formulaic hicks-meet-Brits stuff
quickly goes by the wayside.
Thornton and Epperson's script gives each character a suitable bravura
moment and most hit them out of the park, in particular Thornton, in a
touching monologue delivered to Frances O'Connor in the forest and
Bacon, whose hippie malcontent faces off with Duvall with quiet dignity
This is not a film to hang on for forced drama, but it's one you'll
have a difficult time turning away from and an even harder time
leaving, from the place where you so unceremoniously were dropped.
Tags for Jayne Mansfield's Car Full Movie
Billy Bob Thornton
, Carissa Capobianco
, Frances O'Connor
, Irma P. Hall
, John Hurt
, John Patrick Amedori
, Karli Barnett
, Katherine LaNasa
, Kevin Bacon
, Marshall Allman
, Ray Stevenson
, Robert Duvall
, Robert Patrick
, Ron White
, Shawnee Smith
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