Junebug

Junebug

DVD - 2006
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Junebug is a deceptively simple, deeply resonant story about the inherent loneliness of family, embracing the texture of a world the movies rarely visit. Three years have passed since George has been home, and he is bringing his bride, Chicago art dealer Madeleine. His family--father Eugene, mother Peg, brother Johnny and sister-in-law Ashley--await them with a mixture of excitement, anxiety, and dread. Junebug sounds a paean to yearning, alienation, and endless hope, in the face of the enormous distances that can divide two people, separated by two ways of life.

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Martha C Benner
Mar 04, 2019

Enjoyed it very much and felt Amy Adams did a great job.

I primarily discovered this film while searching for movies with Ben Mckenzie, who I've been greatly enjoying as the lead in 'Gotham'. I was additionally interested when I saw that 'Junebug' is considered Amy Adams' "breakout" film, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award.
The film depicts three strained relationships and the different styles of estrangement that exists within each couple. Though there are many humorous moments in the film, there is also a pervading sense of despair and quiet, even sullen, desperation. In this way, 'Junebug' reminds me of much Scandinavian film (Bergman) and theatre (Ibsen). While watching, I often gasped aloud, "Something bad is going to happen" and I was aware of tension in my limbs. Much is understated and at times I was on the crest of wondering, "What is going on here?". However, I'd hold back on the question when I'd realize that the characters don't know each other, or themselves, as well as they think they do. Once I could accept their 'not knowing', my own became much easier to bear.
Amy Adams' character radiated optimistic co-dependence. She was so generously spirited. I wanted to cradle her in my arms during her tribulations and bask in her emotional sunshine when she was riding high. In contrast, I often wanted to slap the largely benign narcissism out of Embeth Davidson's character. She often acted unconsciously and unaware of other's needs and boundaries, thinking she was doing them good, while mostly serving her own needs. In further contrast, these women's mother-in-law was prickly, dismissive, and judgemental, though I judged her less when I saw evidence of the buried tenderness and yearning that she hides from others.
The three male characters seem weak and less consequential compared to their dynamic female partners. The father-in-law constantly allows himself to be minimized by his harpy-esque wife, to whose behavior he is also co-dependent. His own inwardly-turned anger manifests primarily as taciturn depression. His oldest son is alternately brooding or compulsively sexual and the younger son's depression often explodes into rage in response to Adams' wide-eyed enthusiasm.
Let me state clearly that I like this film very much and found that it was so much more than I originally expected. This ensemble cast wove a deeply textured tapestry of familial connection and disconnection. Fortunately, a few golden threads of hope and the possibility of redemption were stitched into the darker background fabric.

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lavasushi
Mar 14, 2018

Homecoming for a southern guy and his British art-wheeling, dealing wife that is a clash and reassurance of cultures. I love this movie. It’s poignant, well defined, slices of life that I can relate to. It shows the different attitudes towards family, love, and work. George (Alessandro Nivola) is handsome and I agree with his mother “darn near perfect”.
Love Amy Adams and her honest, heartfelt nattering and positive outlook with so much of nothing in front of her. Husband is angry, Mother in law is prickly, father in law is taciturn and you’re in the south.

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jeffi22
Jul 22, 2017

Eh. Super slow with a few funny/dark comedy parts but no plot. tried to rely on character development but I wasn't feeling it. Did not experience same movie that others are giving great reviews...

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missy2
Oct 10, 2012

Really liked this movie.
All the characters come across very natural. The acting and direction are top notch. Slow pacing mirrors the gradual development of the important relationship between place and character. This film is like peeking through the curtains of a family's kitchen window and learning all their foibles and challenges. A few needless sexual scenes (seems films NEED this these days??) but the majority of the film is an exploration of the emotional side of human relationships. Amy Adams, as usual, is brilliant, and shines as the optimistic young expectant mother.

btmslt Sep 27, 2012

Not the best, not the worst film. It is only mildly entertaining.

j
jnewday
Jan 15, 2012

What defines family? Here a group of disconnected people slide in and out of roles both framed by family responsibilities and expectations and beyond that strict mold.

The new wife of the much loved star oldest son is a break with the traditional views and values of this small town group. She arrives with her own priorities, connected to her career as a gallery owner.

Amy Adams is the star of this ensemble, she is a bubbly charmer, always embracing the possibilities and that includes a bounty of welcome for her new sister-in-law.

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DavidB
Dec 07, 2011

Avant Garde

nadian Aug 10, 2009

Junebug is a classic "independent" film; odd, confusing at times, lacking the traditional Hollywood style and far deeper emotionally than traditional films from America. This was supposed to be the film that shot off Amy Adams's career, and rightly so; she delivers spectacular highs and lows. My only qualm with this film was the fact that it took a while to really get going and left a few things unanswered.

alleycat Jun 19, 2008

Another wonderful independent American film. Highly recommended.

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nadian Aug 10, 2009

Sexual Content: Few scenes of explicit sexual content.

nadian Aug 10, 2009

Coarse Language: Adult language used at times.

nadian Aug 10, 2009

Violence: One scene of minor violence.

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nadian Aug 10, 2009

nadian thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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missy2
Oct 10, 2012

"God loves you just the way you are; but He loves you too much to let you stay that way."

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