Cellar, arrived six years ago) -- finds plenty of positives and negatives in all of the people and situations he tracks here, and his ability to allow us to see these fully and to understand why and how they impact on each other is what makes his movie more than merely worthwhile.
Rachel Kitson, above), as she says grace with her newly-discovered cousin Will, played by Josh Hopkins (below). Later, in the what is probably the scariest scene in the movie, as CJ and her boyfriend are forced to meet with their priest and both sets of parents, they are told that when they marry -- no "if" here -- the group will ensure that they have everything they need including "good jobs." Suddenly religious faith turns into a kind of prison in which everything from the social network to gainful employment is frighteningly "assured" for those who follow the faith and its rules.
Mary Beth Hurt, below), and the ad agency where he works -- all come off as not a little tainted. And the quieter life of Lebanon appears initially placid and appealing enough to attract a fellow who has just experiences a romantic break-up and the loss of his father.
Samantha Mathis, below), married but frustrated with hubby and career, who gets entangled with Will -- as they move forward, backward and sideways, trying to handle all the change that must come.
Josh Hunt) apologizes and explains to the confused girl why and how he now feels. Thanks to the filmmaker's skill at conception and execution, along with the fine performances from his cast, these few moments, beautifully written, are both moving and on the mark.
Mike Lemon, who did the casting, have chosen their actors very well. Hopkins, known mostly for his work on TV, is getting older now, with a face that is nicely showing its age (but a body that's still in terrific shape). He brings real gravity to the situation, even though he is called upon mostly to react to things. The writer/director understands well that it's the outsider, acting as an unbeknownst-even-to-himself catalyst, who enables the oncoming change, and Hopkins' face mirrors beautifully much of what is going on here.
Ian Merrill Peakes, above, as dad to CJ and her brother Chase, has the strongest role as the man torn between his religion (which includes his favored place in society) and what might be best for his kids. You feel his pain, as well as his inability to withstand the shock of the new.
Hunter Gallagher (above) as CJ's brother Chase, all doing splendid jobs. I don't know whether or not the movie will draw many tourists to its titular town, but it's certainly put the place on my memory map, and I suspect it might do the same for yours.
here to discover all the cities and theaters at which the film will be appearing. There will also be a number of Q&As with the film's stars, with the filmmaker and even the composer (Matt Pond PA). Click here for the most current update on the personal appearances.