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

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Movie Info

On the way to meet with an independent artist in the South, newlywed art dealer Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz) is convinced by her husband, George (Alessandro Nivola), that they should stop to meet his family in North Carolina. Madeleine's affluent lifestyle clashes with the family, but she befriends George's wide-eyed and pregnant sister-in-law, Ashley (Amy Adams), who is nearing her due date. Through the family, Madeleine gains greater insight into George's character.

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Critic Reviews for Junebug

All Critics (136) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (117) | Rotten (19)

  • It could have been an exercise in "let's mock the provincials..." But the writer and the director (Angus McLachlan, Phil Morrison) are both from North Carolina, so each side in this meeting of opposites is both humanised and demonised.

    October 7, 2018 | Full Review…
  • You can call Junebug an unwanted, but much needed homecoming, mostly celebrated by the hearty welcome of George's sister-in-law Ashley Johnsten, played by Amy Adams.

    September 12, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • ...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…
  • Quote not available.

    May 6, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Delicately avoids Hollywood's typical condescending caricatures of those who dwell below the Mason-Dixon line.

    March 22, 2006 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • Junebug is the older, wiser sibling of home-for-the-holidays family melodramas like Pieces of April.

    January 21, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Junebug

  • Jun 23, 2013
    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, <i>Junebug</i> is a fantastic addition to film's attempt to capture the South.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2012
    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.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 04, 2012
    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.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • May 04, 2011
    Following on from this, screenwriter Angus MacLachlan wrote the Robert DeNiro/Edward Norton film "Stone". Unfortunately, it wasn't in the same league but we've yet to see what director Phil Morrison delivers after this heartfelt independant gem of a film, which remains his one and only feature so far. On the trail of an eccentric artist in North Carolina, a recently wed Chicago gallery owner (Embeth Davidtz) gets to meet her new family. But while her pregnant sister-in-law (Amy Adams) gushes with enthusiasm, the rest of the household afford a more muted and reserved welcome. This is a film that could easily have fallen prey to cliche but skillfully manages to avoid it and crafts a wonderfully nuanced character study and earnest portrait of family pressures. The level of uncomfortable communication between this dysfunctional family is astutely captured and subtly delivered with an array of different personalities on screen and a perfect ensemble of actors bringing them to life. Amy Adams is a particular standout, radiating positivity as the loquacious, heavily pregnant in-law and the only one who seems to have any joy in life. You can almost feel the discomfort and awkwardness from the characters and the situations but despite this, we are still shown glimpses of the bond between them in their fragile, yet solid family unit. A wise and emotionally powerful treat that's not short on humour or pathos, making it a near flawless piece of craftsmanship by all involved and a reminder that American cinema doesn't always need to be bang for your buck.
    Mark W Super Reviewer

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