Top 20% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

2005 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Dramatic Competition


Amy Adams, Embeth Davidz, Ben McKenzie, Alessandro Nivola, Celia Weston, Scott Wilson

Non-Cast Credits

Phil Morrison, Arigus MacLachlan, Daniel Rappaport, Mindy Goldberg, Mike S. Ryan, Peter Donahue, Joe Klotz, David Doernberg, Yo La Tengo


Director Phil Morrison and screenwriter Angus MacLachlan have forged a creative relationship that delivers an expertly crafted film -- one that brings the idiosyncrasies of the modern South into sharp relief, and unearths the discovery that families can be experts at masking their own dysfunction. In Junebug, the unexpected appearance of an outsider illuminates one clan's unresolved resentments and repressed anxieties.

Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz) comes to her family as an infusion of unapologetic big-city swagger -- a sophisticated gallery owner from Chicago who become the new wife of George (Alessandro Nivola). On a road trip to close a deal with a reclusive North Carolina artist, George finally resolves to introduce Madeleine to his family: prickly mother Peg (Celia Weston); taciturn father Eugene (Scott Wilson); cranky brother Johnny (Benjamin McKenzie); who has always suffered in the shadow of golden boy George; and Johnny's very pregnant, childlike wife Ashley (Amy Adams) who is instantly awestruck by her Yankee sister-in-law.

Kudos to the creative team who assembled a gifted cast so perfect that they imbue each scene with spot-on emotional pitch. Junebug is blessed to have Morrison's sure-handed and insightful direction. And MacLachlan has crafted a regional tale so pure and so authentic that it's clear that southern storytelling has found its voice again.


John Cooper (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.