Saturday, April 30, 2011
TrustMovies, have long been a fan of the films of Dan Ireland -- The Whole Wide World, The Velocity of Gary, Passionada and Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont -- you won't want to miss his newest addition (though most everyone else seems to have). Mr. Ireland is interested in odd relationships: the characters played by Zellweger and D'Onofrio in "World," D'Onofrio's with that of Thomas Jane in "Gary," Jason Isaacs' with a younger and older female in Passionada, and a young Rupert Friend's with an old Joan Plowright in "Mrs. Palfrey." In his latest endeavor, the focus is on his title character and her several relationships with different men -- and one woman.
E.L. Doctorow story (unread by me), JOLENE seems an unusual movie by the usual standards of this director (shown at left). Rather like a road movie, with the road being the main character's life as it unfurls in front of us, it's chock full of interesting incidents. (It's also a road movie in that, every so often, Jolene hits that road toward a new location and love.) As played by newcomer Jessica Chastain, our heroine begins as a glowing, 15-year-old bride in South Carolina (below, right, with her bow-tied groom, the sweet, sad Zeb Newman, at left, and his home-wrecking uncle, an excellent Dermot Mulroney, center).
Frances Fisher, below) takes a shine to her.
Chazz Palminteri, below, whose mob ties make for high living. For awhile.
Michael Vartan, below) of one of the wealthiest families in town, and money and power conspire once again.
Lana Turner movies) -- it is grounded by a seriousness of purpose that allows it to rise above the suds, seaminess, and surface delights. The film's final scene, a kind of epilogue to all that has gone before, brings this home in spades. It's intelligent, thoughtful and little bit mysterious -- just like its memorable heroine. By the end of it you'll know very well why you're in love with Jolene, and the movie about her.
Out this week on DVD, and available for sale or rental, Jolene can be found at the usual retailers.