Reviews of Recent Independent, Foreign, & Documentary Films in Theaters and DVD/Home Video
Directed by: David Gordon Green.
Produced by: Jean Doumanian & Lisa Muskat.
Written by: Green & Paul Schneider (story).
Director of Photography: Tim Orr.
Edited by: Zene Baker & Steve Gonzales.
Music by: Michael Linnen & David Wingo.
Released by: Sony Picture Classics.
Country of Origin: USA. 108 min. Rated: R.
With: Schneider, Zooey Deschanel, Patricia Clarkson & Shea Whigham.
In David Gordon Green's follow up to his critically acclaimed debut George Washington, a raw sense of reality and an evocative depiction of the simplicity and pace of small town life create a subtle portrayal of awkward young love. Noel (Deschanel) returns to North Carolina after attending an all-girls boarding school. Deschanel plays the role with both sweetness and depth, and it is not surprising that her return creates a stir. Noel's romantic interests turn to her older brother Tip's (Whigham) best friend, the popular but insensitive Paul (Schneider), who is reputed for having loved and left dozens of young women in this "everyone knows everyone" town. Paul genuinely cares for Noel, but over-protective Tip won't hear of it. Predictably, Tip attacks Paul and fireworks ensue. The subsequent efforts of Paul and Noel to create a working relationship ring true, and the world that Green depicts around the two young lovers as they attempt to equally embrace and reject their environment is sensitively and realistically explored.
Michael Morley, President of CineBLAST! Productions (Revolution #9, Bobby G. Can't Swim & Spring Forward)
May 1, 2003