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Critic Reviews for Earthwork
The story has dramatic reversals, humor, suspense and plenty of colorful, eccentric characters.
"Earthwork" takes an unexpected swerve but one that adds layers of meaning and emotion to a film that is as beautiful and wrenching as it is unassuming.
Character actor John Hawkes, his rural demeanor tailor-made for hick pics, breaks through typecasting stereotypes in his nuanced portrayal of crop artist Stan Herd in Chris Ordal's ambitious Earthwork.
John Hawkes brings a laconic soulfulness to this ultra-low-key, only mildly involving tale of artistic pursuit.
Directed, written and produced by Chris Ordal, "Earthwork" is best left to TV.
Audience Reviews for Earthwork
Beautiful story about a real artist and his struggle to get his art in the public eye. Delightful cast, uplifting story, truly enjoyable.
I especially enjoyed getting to know the rag-tag group of homeless guys that Stan befriends and recruits to help him realize his masterpiece.
Before I get to commenting on Earthwork, the new biopic about Lawrence, Kan.-based crop artist Stan Herd, I have a couple of disclosures to make. First, my old boss Jon Niccum plays a journalist in the film. Second, if you've ever seen a photo of Herd's "The Ottawa Beanfield Cola War," I'm one of the 700 people who can been seen in the aerial photograph portraying giant, crushed soda cans. I didn't encounter Herd during the creation of that work. He left it to others to tell us what to do.
It's hard to be a Kansan and not have an opinion of Herd's artwork. He works on huge canvases that can only be seen from the air. He creates his pictures by getting people to wear shirts that make up the colors he'll need for certain objects, or he'll grow crops that can do the trick as well. Neither is easy, and his artwork has been made all over the place here. Because he works in an area with a small population and a lot of open land, he quickly made a reputation here. Earning money for his labor was another matter.
Earthwork begins in the early 1990s when Herd's career hit a troubling crossroads. The artist (played by John Hawkes, Winter's Bone) wanted to send his wife Janis (Laura Kirk) to medical school but could barely pay his bills. It's not that easy to sell artwork that's plowed over once it's been photographed.
Full Review available at http://www.kcactive.com/aande/reel/0511_reel/index.html#earthwork
I loved this movie!! John Hawkes is great; the visuals are stirring; and the story is captivating. Artists of all stripes (and those who appreciate art!!) will truly connect with this film. Must see!!!!
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