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Junebug (2005)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 128
Fresh: 110 | Rotten: 18

Aided and abetted by a wonderful cast, director Phil Morrison transforms familiar material into an understated and resonant comedy.

94

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 35
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 2

Aided and abetted by a wonderful cast, director Phil Morrison transforms familiar material into an understated and resonant comedy.

audience

74

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 46,431

My Rating

Movie Info

A dealer in outsider art threatens the equilibrium of her middle-class in-laws in North Carolina. Madeline is a go-getting art gallery owner from Chicago, recently married to George, a near-perfect Southern beau. When Madeline needs to close a deal with a reclusive North Carolina artist, George introduces her to his family: prickly mother Peg, taciturn father Eugene, cranky brother Johnny, and Johnny's pregnant, childlike wife Ashley, who is awe-struck by her glamorous sister-in-law. Madeline's

R,

Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Angus MacLachlan

Jan 17, 2006

$2.4M

Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Junebug

February 10, 2012:
Paul Giamatti, Paul Rudd, and Sally Hawkins Have a Lucky Dog
They'll star in a new comedy from director Phil Morrison ("Junebug").
February 6, 2008:
Amy Adams Spending A Night at the Museum with Ben Stiller
Critics have loved Amy Adams since her Junebug days, but now that she's charmed audiences on a...

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All Critics (139) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (110) | Rotten (18) | DVD (19)

...one of many reasons to love Junebug is how often it offers us spaces to fill in ourselves, the faith it shows in handing us small puzzles -- Eugene's hand-carved bird, for instance -- to chuckle over or think on afterward.

November 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Film.com
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A quiet journey into the heartland, and the heart.

September 23, 2005 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thanks to Adams' performance and strong story, it makes for a mildly entertaining Southern-fried experience.

September 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The adult tensions and the tone take us to a place remembered so vividly that even if we don't know this corner of the South, we've somehow lived there or at least passed through.

September 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Brimming with bright dialogue, complex characters and moments of sheer aching sweetness, it's Chekhov with a side of red-eye gravy.

August 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Morrison and MacLachlan mine the clash of cultures for comedy, but there's an undertow of sadness to their film - and Adams's touching performance as George's naïve but well-meaning, heavily pregnant sister-in-law captures this perfectly

April 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

At every moment when "Junebug" could choose dramatic cliché, even with Ashley's pregnancy, it's beautifully subtle. A poetic, graceful tale about the comforts and oddities of returning home to family.

September 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

The humor here is expectedly quirky but it feels earned thanks to writer MacLachlan and director Morrison's honestly rendered observations of family and small-town life

August 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

Junebug annoyed me while in the theater, and annoys me even more as I write about it.

September 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Film and Felt | Comments (3)
Film and Felt

Amy Adams is simply magical, guileless and throbbing, sunniness fraught with desperation

September 1, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

A wonderful bittersweet dramedy that deserves to be seen.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

From dinner-table silences, to nuances of Baptist vocabulary, to 'colorful' displays of Southern imagination, these people are three-dimensional and compelling.

September 12, 2007
Looking Closer

To get a good idea of what to expect, think Hee Haw presented as a Shakespearean melodrama.

May 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Upstage Magazine
Upstage Magazine

Not since...My Cousin Vinny has there been a more charming class-clash comedy-drama than Junebug.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

click to read review [Greek]

September 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

An arthouse Meet The Parents, Junebug explores the same territory with greater subtlety and complexity, and more chuckles and quiet smiles, instead of big comedy routines.

June 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Um filme que exige ser visto mais de uma vez, no mínimo para que possamos ter o prazer de rever atuações tão ricas em detalhes.

April 22, 2006
Cinema em Cena

Delicately avoids Hollywood's typical condescending caricatures of those who dwell below the Mason-Dixon line.

March 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

There's a constant tension in the air, as if the characters could make catastrophic decisions at any moment but the film consistently surprises you by upturning the expected cliches.

March 9, 2006 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

...the honesty with which [the film has] been imbued is generally difficult to resist.

January 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

The movie cuts deep with its realistic portrayals of human strengths, weaknesses, and relational dynamics.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Junebug is the older, wiser sibling of home-for-the-holidays family melodramas like Pieces of April.

January 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

On paper, Junebug might sound like something you've already seen a dozen times. But movies aren't made on paper, silly.

January 17, 2006 Full Review Source: DVD Clinic
DVD Clinic

A beautiful, sensitive exploration of the strings that hold people together

January 14, 2006 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Audience Reviews for Junebug

There are many lovely things about this indie darling from screenwriter Angus MacLachlan and director Phil Morrison, and many little things that make it the obviously trying too hard quirky film everyone thinks it is. These little things amount to very little, as previously stated. It's mostly details, including the strange artist living in the middle of nowhere, painting slightly racist, obviously crazy paintings, and the strange and yet overt religious overtones. The anachronistic feeling of the film is lent to the setting for the film which is in the very rustic, Bible thumping South, complete with characters that are stuck in the past as well. Besides the family looking backwards to find their convictions, they're also far from the keen eye of outsiders. A family, (Wilson and Weston as the parents) seemingly separated from people outside of their community, await the birth of a new baby while lamenting the lost life of their son. He is married to his high school sweetheart, and remains repressed thanks to his own despair towards his own life. His brother, George, (Nivola) marries an extreme outsider, who does love the man, but resembles someone else entirely from themselves. The person who steals the entire show remains Amy Adams, and it's in the first couple of seconds onscreen that you understand why she was nominated for an Academy Award. The character of Ashley is bubbly, always trying too hard, and always wants the best for the future. Though her circumstances are inevitably going to get worse when her baby arrives, she believes that it will bring her and her husband together once more. It's definitely an actor's movie, and though Adams does steal the show, every single person in this film comes off genuine and interesting. Embeth Davidtz, who plays the main character, Madeleine, is very engaging if flawed, but she is also playing someone who is seemingly soft-hearted. It has some problems overall, but it's definitely worth watching, and it is strangely entertaining to see a family collapse without a leader.
September 3, 2013
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

An urbanite couple returns to the South to visit one's family and pursue an artist.
There are aspects of the South that this film captures that I've rarely seen expressed so clearly and accurately on film. The odd inferiority complex, which is the most prominent and elusive, the commitment to religion, the familial devotion, the silent father, the nosey neighbor, the verdant landscape, the meddling mother, the racist, loyal Confederate artist -- all of it is here and expressed in all its honorable integrity and ridiculousness. The film is an achievement on the level of Faulkner in this way, but it obviously lacks in others.
Amy Adams's break-through performance is the film's highlight, and Adams is both charming and annoying. Her work embodies the film's embrasure of contradictions, which is why she fits so well with the rest of the strong ensemble.
I think the film didn't fully get at the root of the family's dysfunction, as Super Reviewer Alice Shen pointed out, but I also think the film was caught betwixt and between on whether or not to judge these characters.
Overall, Junebug is a fantastic addition to film's attempt to capture the South.
June 23, 2013
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Fish out of water tale has college edujumakated art gallery manager goin ta meet up wit hubby's "at least we ain't got no fancy airs") downhome family ... and it's no bed of roses, that's for sure. And the unpleasantness happens just as our world traveller is trying to woo the South in the form of a blossoming curmudgeony outsider artist. Social observations via light (very light) comedy.
July 11, 2012
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

If The Station Agent is a good example of how to make a good indie movie out of typical indie movie subject matter, then this is an example of trying way too hard, and despite the best of efforts, not quite making it.

An art gallery owner who specializes in outsider art named Madeleine gets into a whirlwind marriage with a guy named George who has successfully managed to mask his North Carolina upbringing. While on a trip to North Carolina to woo a promising artist, Madeleine also gets the chance to meet her new in-laws and, needless to say, it's a real fish out of water sort of thing. George's dad is mostly silent and withdrawn, his mom is really skeptical and disapproving, his borther is surly and quick to anger, and the only one who really seems to be welcoming is George's very pregnant sister-in-law Ashley who is overwhelmingly excitable, talkative, enthusiastic, and naive. She also might seriously need some Ritalin, too.

The set up is basically a quirky version of Meet The Parents, and, for the most part, I did enjoy it. However, the film is really prone to thigns that bug me about indies: jarring transitions with lots of silence and a camera that lingers on too long, character changes that come jsut for the sake of story that seem a little too forced, and that feeling of not so subtle "look at me, I'm not a mainstream film!" that comes up A LOT. The film does have lots of plot threads that are left untied at the end, but that was something I actually liked.

I wasn't bored to tears, but I was kinda bored because I could see where this was going, and was pretty accurate in my guessings. Sometimes that's okay, but with this film it just rubbed me the wrong way a little too much. The performances are at least really good, especially from Amy Adams who really steals the show as Ashley. I felt that Nivola was miscast as George, and it also bugged me that his character was not really there to do a whole lot, and he really didn't weigh in as much with his wife's situation as he should have, but at least it wasn't handled worse than it is.

All in all, this is okay, but not as special as it thinks it is. A lot of this is forced, pretentious, and didn't grab me like it should have. Like I said though, the performances are what ultyimately holds it together.
June 17, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Eugene: Where would I be if I was a screwdriver?
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Ashley: All I really want is for Johnny to love me like he did in high school.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Ashley: Did they sign a contact?
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (7 months ago)
    1. Ashley: God loves you just the way you are. But He loves you too much to let you stay that way.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (7 months ago)
    1. Ashley: I can't sit down! I'm too excited!
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (7 months ago)
    1. Madeleine: I even bite my toenails.
    2. Ashley: You do not.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (7 months ago)
View all quotes (14)

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