Alabama; 1969: The death of a clan's estranged wife and mother brings together two very different families. Do the scars of the past hide differences that will tear them apart, or expose truths that could lead to unexpected collisions?
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
Terrible title as it has little to do with the movie and a terribly
tepid film directed and jointly written by Billy Bob Thornton.
Robert Duvall is Jim Caldwell. A Great War veteran and a patriarch of a
well to do Alabama family in the late 1960s, who spends his time
visiting automobile accidents which the local police are happy to
oblige him with.
Duvall has three sons who served in World War 2. Skip (Billy Bob
Thornton) and Carroll (Kevin Bacon) seem to spend their time drinking
beer, smoking dope and arguing. Both have to deal with the scars of the
war. Bacon is the wild one, even though he has a son at college, he is
anti Vietnam war protester and regularly gets in trouble with the
police that upsets his father. The conservative Jimbo (Robert Patrick)
seems to to be only responsible one. Their sister Donna is married to
an ex football star but seems to be promiscuous.
The Caldwell's meet the Bedford family from England. The reason being
that Jim's former wife has died and wants to be buried in Alabama. She
has been living in England and was married to Kingsley Bedford (John
Hurt) and he is accompanied by his two grown up children from his first
Of course there is some hesitancy between the two families because of
the strained past but as they get to know each other we find out that
Hurt's children are also have a dysfunctional relationship with their
father which results in the daughter getting involved in some kinkiness
with Skip and the son having a liaison with Donna.
The film is a shambles, it kind of rambles without much focus. There is
some good acting especially from Duvall and Hurt whose characters bond
as they go to see Mansfield's wreck in a store. However the film itself
is a bit of a car crash.
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