Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 5
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Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 3
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Average Rating: 4.6/5
User Ratings: 201
EARTHWORK is the true story of real-life crop artist Stan Herd (played by Oscar nominee and Spirit Award Winner for "Winter's Bone" John Hawkes, in his first starring role), told through a single episode of his life. In 1994, Stan traveled from Kansas to New York City and risked everything to create a massive environmental artwork on land owned by Donald Trump. The multi-acre piece was made from soil, rock, plants and vegetation near an underground railway tunnel. Stan recruited a number of
Apr 29, 2011 Limited
Shadow Distribution - Official Site
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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.
Earthwork's narrative follows too-familiar templates, and its characters lack the careful detail of Herd's own art.
While we're grateful for Ordal's introduction to this atypical artist, the film's focus on the sentimental side of the story is at the expense of showing us enough of his terrestrial achievements.
It's a rare film that makes viewers love a fellow who takes needless chances.
Ultimately, "Earthwork" poses an interesting question. Does the true value of art lie in its creation or the pleasure that others get while viewing it?
This is a movie about work and about the satisfaction that a person can find in accomplishing something.
Writer-director Chris Ordal does something a lot of young filmmakers either can't do, or consciously try to avoid -- tell a simple story, simply, and without overindulging in stylistic gimmicks or emotional manipulation.
The movie's numerous strengths include the cinematography by Bruce Francis Cole, the editing of extraneous material to 93 seamlessly flowing minutes by Brad Roszell and an upbeat, soothing guitar-heavy instrumental score by musician David Goodrich.
Hawkes' performance reflects the gentle unaffectedness of Ordal's writing and directing. Earthwork hasn't any big bombastic moments. Instead it worms its way into your good graces slowly and thoughtfully until you're hooked.
Earthwork turns a potentially fascinating, infuriating story of failure into a dull, naïve civics lesson.
Ordal certainly picked the right moment of Herd's career to memorialize, because while the tale seems to follow a predictable path, it eventually veers off into a different direction.
An unchallenging, simplistic drama that's grounded by John Hawkes' genuinely tender and charismatic performance.
Drama about the many challenges faced by an earthwork artist from Kansas as he takes on a project in New York City.
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