Lindsay Graham and Mary Vernieu, have assembled an ensemble that is as good as any seen all year (maybe several). But this triple threat's biggest achievement lies in his writing and direction, where his ability to suggest outdoes many directors' lesser ability to flog their points home. From the film's title (which plays into things quietly, cursorily) onwards, how Thornton and Epperson manage to bring forth and connect so many important themes and ideas (regarding family, the gap between generations, brotherly competition and bonding, and war and its remains, with particular stress on U.S. involvement in Vietnam and its effect on the populace at large) is quite impressive.
August: Osage County will work this well?) Along with this comes Thornton's penchant for pacing, which here seems near perfect. Yes, this is a southern family tale, so we might expect things to move a little slowly, yet so keen with camera and composition (the cinematographer is Barry Markowitz) is our filmmaker that the leisurely pace works wonders. (This is a very beautiful film to watch, as well: the colors, the verdant outdoors, the splendid faces on view.)
John Hurt, above) arrives to celebrate and honor a death.
Robert Duvall, shown in photo at bottom), his three sons (Kevin Bacon, above, right; Robert Patrick, center, and Thornton, at left) and daughter (Katherine LaNasa,shown below, right) along with various in-laws and kids, welcome the Brits (who includes Hurt's children, played very well by Rome's Ray Stevenson and A.I.'s Frances O'Connor) with everything from interest and anger to foreboding and hope.
From Anchor Bay Entertainment, and running two hours and two minutes (not one of which I think you'd want to lose), the DVD and Blu-ray hit the streets tomorrow, Tuesday. December 10.