Saturday, November 23, 2002

We watched John Sayles' Sunshine State last night, for two reasons: it's about Florida, and it features Edie (Carmella Soprano) Falco.

I've always liked John Sayles' movies....okay. His leisurely pace gets a bit too leisurely sometimes, but what is inarguable is that his films are always interesting, always different.

This one concerns itself with development in Florida, apparently based to some extent on Amelia Island, which becomes "Planation Island" (one of the big developments on Amelia Island is Amelia Plantation), and at the historically African-American beach area called American Beach, which becomes "Lincoln Beach" in the movie. As exiles, we enjoyed seeing the Florida sites, although it was jarring to see that Weeki-Wachee (home of the mermaid show in which the Falco character had once worked) had been moved across the state from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic, but that's okay.

Typical Sayles: lots of characters, lots of dialogue, some of which was excellent, and some of which was unexpectedly dreadful - stagey, overwrought, artificial.

However, I have to say that Edie Falco was pretty...mediocre. I don't understand the raves her performance got. First - there was her accent, which was dreadful. I guess it was supposed to be southern, but it had an awful lot of Yankee in it. She was supposed to be your typical long-term Florida beach resident, an identification they accomplished by having her hair bleached out and messy, and having her slouch around the whole movie in various spaghetti-strap t-shirts and shorts. Her character was supposed to be bored, yeah, but even bored people change their expressions once in a while.

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