Junebug

2005

Junebug

Critics Consensus

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

87%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 135

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 46,857
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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 presence exposes the fragile family dynamics as hidden resentments and anxieties surface.

Cast

Embeth Davidtz
as Madeleine
Amy Adams
as Ashley
Beth Bostic
as Lucille
Joanne Pankow
as Sissy Wark
Laura Lashley
as Gallery Assistant
Annette Beatty
as Dr. Beatty
Matt Besser
as Scout who goes in
Jerry Minor
as Scout who stays outside
Jamie Castlebury
as Woman at shower
Jeffrey Dean Foster
as Gallery Assistant
Katherine Foster
as Pregnant Patient
Teresa Fowler
as Nurse No. 1
Victoria Jackson
as Nurse No. 2
Kevin Harlow Jasper
as Hollerin' Man
David Kuhn
as Auctioneer
John Eddie McGee
as Older Singer at Church
Dan McLamb
as Hollerin' Man
Will Oldham
as Bill Mooney
John A. Van Couvering
as Meerkat Expert
Gregory Wagner
as Young Singer at Church
Jill Wagner
as Millicent
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News & Interviews for Junebug

Critic Reviews for Junebug

All Critics (135) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (117) | Rotten (18)

  • ...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.

    Nov 30, 2007 | Full Review…

    Mark Bourne

    Film.com
    Top Critic
  • A quiet journey into the heartland, and the heart.

    Sep 23, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Thanks to Adams' performance and strong story, it makes for a mildly entertaining Southern-fried experience.

    Sep 22, 2005 | Rating: 3/5
  • 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.

    Sep 2, 2005 | Rating: 4/5
  • Brimming with bright dialogue, complex characters and moments of sheer aching sweetness, it's Chekhov with a side of red-eye gravy.

    Aug 28, 2005 | Rating: B+
  • This brilliantly detailed, richly painted portrait lingers long in the memory.

    Aug 26, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4

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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