Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: August 3, 2005
8.1
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 99 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
79
Mixed:
14
Negative:
6
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6
JimM.Feb 11, 2006
I'm originally from the South and I've lived there on and off for about 25 years (out of 35). I'm also a fan of independent film. This would be a logical film for me to love, but I didn't love it. Amy Adams and the guy I'm originally from the South and I've lived there on and off for about 25 years (out of 35). I'm also a fan of independent film. This would be a logical film for me to love, but I didn't love it. Amy Adams and the guy that plays her husband are quite good and their characters are very well-written. The rest is sketch and charicature, or worse. It blows my mind that the main guy, the character of Davidtz's husband, is such a non-person. Ty Burr's review sums it up for me. Expand
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5
JoeHSep 13, 2005
A deft protrayal of the gap, let us say GULF between sophisticated, successful urbanites and the not-well-to-do rural American families they may have come from. We are offered an intelligent, life-like and often dramatic portrayal of the A deft protrayal of the gap, let us say GULF between sophisticated, successful urbanites and the not-well-to-do rural American families they may have come from. We are offered an intelligent, life-like and often dramatic portrayal of the many disconnects among "closely related" folks as the filmmakers cannily skewer disjunctions in the family relationships in view. On the other hand the film is morally one-sided. It fails to show any of the positive forces that bring and maintain people together. It's not only southern-fried conventionalism that makes those people do what they do; small town life is more than just a dance of fools. Understanding and kindness have a role even there. So the film lacks balance. The source of the unkindness inherent in the film is the filmmakers' "sophistication", which contains a strong bais against the rural locals. We miss dramatic tension because there is no counter-balancing kindly force that is being frustrated by the animosities and avoidances delineated so well in the film. Entertaining drama for many, but you won't find a wise or complete portrait of the human animal here. Expand
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6
MarkB.Sep 26, 2005
Whatever happened to the concept of Southern hospitality? Judging from this rancorous drama from writer Angus Maclachlan and director Phil morrison, both North Carolina expatriates, it's either in very short supply or was never there to Whatever happened to the concept of Southern hospitality? Judging from this rancorous drama from writer Angus Maclachlan and director Phil morrison, both North Carolina expatriates, it's either in very short supply or was never there to begin with. Sophisticated, urbane art dealer Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz) travels to her new husband's hometown for the first time both to meet his family and to close a deal with a local folk artist (although not necessarily in that order of priority). Said painter (Frank Hoyt Taylor) is your first tip-off that not everything is moonlight and magnolias in Dixie: he's a racist, bottom-feeding evolutionary throwback with the I.Q. of a mildewed throw rug, and his "art" (which Madeleine fawns over) is a series of blood-and-phallus horrors allegedly depicting the Civil war but far more accurately opening the door way too wide on his dangerously demented psychological state...and I wouldn't decorate my worst enemy's outhouse with them much less a museum. (The character's name, by the way, is David Wark...is that a not-so-subtle in-joke reference to the director of the Ku Klux Klan-loving silent classic Birth of a Nation?) Things don't get much better for Madeleine; although she's a kind, well-intentioned soul, she's no match for husband George's catty, manipulative mother Peg, addlebrained, screwdriver-fixated dad Eugene, or resentful, embittered slug of a brother Johnny; these family encounters, which poor Madeleine constantly gets the short end of, are filmed by Morrison in a pretentious, coffee-table style that seems to care more about the characters' furniture than the characters themselves; living rooms and hime workshops are dwelt upon in loving (and boring) detail, and at one point the camera fades to black for so long that a couple of my fellow patrons started to get up to inform the usher that something was wrong with the projector! In their treatment of most of George's family, there's no shot too cheap or blow too low for Mclachlan and Harrison; they can't show us Peg being moved to tears at a church service without having her act in a highly hypocritical, nonChristian manner a few scenes later, and they're equally unable to give us a shot of Johnny asleep on the couch without having him drool on the cushion. The one exception to all this Southern-fried venom--and a glorious one it is, and the only reason this film rates a 6--is Amy Adams (Catch Me If You Can) as Johnny's very pregnant wife, Ashley: a woman who's naive but deeply wise in her own way, and who, unlike the rest of the household, possesses no prejudices, preconceived notions or hidden agendas...she's just thrilled beyond belief to meet Madeleine because now she has a new best friend, whose nails she can paint and everything! Adams in this role is nothing short of completely breathtaking: she's hilarious, pathetic, endearing and heartbreaking in equal and simultaneous quantities, and triumphantly counters the long-held (and often true, but not in this case) dramatic postulate that bad characters are more inherently fascinating than good ones. Watch Adams handle a bedroom scene with a high school photo of Ashley and Johnny during happier times--a sequence that by its nature could've gone wrong in a dozen different ways--and you'll see miracles happen. Adams, and to a lesser but still significant degree Davidtz, whose utter generosity and good sportsmanship in allowing Adams to dominate all their scenes adds genuine class to her already formidable trademark loveliness and delicacy, are the ONLY things Junebug has going for it; I can only assume that the amount of love that critics nationwide unanimously (and understandably) have bestowed upon Adams' character and performance has misled them into thinking that this is some kind of balanced, fairminded portrait of the South. New York Times critic Stephen Holden has been quoted prominently in the ads praising Junebug as a perceptive distillation of red state/blue state hostility; on the contrary, it's so harsh on most of the folks below the Mason-Dixon line that it temporarily turns the currently popular Ann Coulter/ Bernard Goldberg/ Michael Medved/ Fox News-promulgated myth of a patronizing, condescending liberal elitist media into a 107-minute reality. Expand
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5
KouroshA.Feb 15, 2006
It takes a lot of patience to sit through this film.It is very low key but the presentation of some of the customs of the region and also some of the acting specially that of Amy adams makes the movie somewhat interesting.
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5
KevinM.Feb 27, 2006
I give it a based on what it was trying to achieve IF..AND ONLY IF..you KNOW you are going to sit through a "film" and an attempt at art. It's like emotionless vignettes all strung together to give you some sense of ..(what that is and I give it a based on what it was trying to achieve IF..AND ONLY IF..you KNOW you are going to sit through a "film" and an attempt at art. It's like emotionless vignettes all strung together to give you some sense of ..(what that is and why you are asking "what that is.." is the point entirely) If you get my meaning, this film has no meaning. No sense of purpose, GREAT ACTORS and absolute wasted talent Davidtz is just stellar but the lack of dialogue passed off as artisitic drama is just ridiculous. I go this movie based on the Metacritic rating alone (which is the ONLY way I manage to see good films BTW) and I was dissappointed!On it's own merit the film is a weak 4. I suggest all the top heavy critiques be reordered and weighted by .8 so that the real score is more like 53-57 Honestly, I appreciated DOMINO more since i went into that at least knowing it was crap. Expand
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4
M.B.Mar 18, 2006
What kind of husband drags hs new wife to meet a family like that and then disappears for a few hours while she has to make conversation with his freaky mom? Too many people doing things real people don't do.
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6
NathanT.Aug 15, 2006
And the award for most inexplicably praised film of 2005 goes to "Junebug." The pacing is deliberate pace (translate "suck your eyeballs out of your face slow") and the cinematography has that strained look that capture small town America And the award for most inexplicably praised film of 2005 goes to "Junebug." The pacing is deliberate pace (translate "suck your eyeballs out of your face slow") and the cinematography has that strained look that capture small town America nicely. The problem with "Junebug" is that after close to two hours have passed, I'm not sure exactly what I am supposed to take from it. Films that move this sluggishly are often overpraised for the beauty and depth, but if you really pay attention this is a stew of moments that confuse silence for depth and characters that are hardly fleshed out. Well, some of them. The women in the film are nicely fleshed out, we as viewers get some sense of what's ticking in their heads. But the men, especially George, the son of the family that he and new wife Embeth Davidtz visit, is a skeleton of a character. Who is he? The most he get's asked in the entire film is in the opening sequence when Madeline (Davidtz) inquires before love making, "Where did you come from?" Beyond that, he enters the scene when he is scheduled, leaves the scene when he is supposed to, smiles a lot and gives us very little insight as to why relations are so strained with his brother. That brother would be none other than Ben McKenzie of 'The OC' fame who plays Johnny. We are only provided glimpses into his life and his own dissatisfaction. One scene reveals that despite all his glowering, he does really like his job. But beyond that he is the film's most contrived character. He broods around for the most of the film. The women have depth. Amy Adams plays Johnny's vivacious pregnant wife Ashley. Although she received the Oscar nod, Embeth Davidtz hits all the right notes. She plays the most complete character and she in turn gives the most complete performance. Ultimately "Junebug" is watchable despite all its absurd attempts at indie artiness. Amy Adams and Embeth Davidtz are worth a viewing, but at the end of the day, "Junebug" is little more than that: a glimpse. It never becomes a complete experience. Expand
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5
BKMApr 25, 2013
Junebug attempts to explore the enormous cultural and social gulf between red and blue state America by honing in on the disconnects between individuals, particularly family members and spouses. It's all handled with intelligence and care,Junebug attempts to explore the enormous cultural and social gulf between red and blue state America by honing in on the disconnects between individuals, particularly family members and spouses. It's all handled with intelligence and care, but carries no dramatic weight. Much of the animosity amongst these characters is revealed by what isn't said, and in Junebug that's a lot. So much so that it's difficult to care what the reasons actually are. Expand
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