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Northfork /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Mark Polish, James Woods, Nick Nolte, Anthony Edwards, Duel Farnes
Directed by: Michael Polish
Produced by: Michael Polish, Mark Polish
Written by: Michael Polish, Mark Polish
Distributor: Paramount Classics


    Northfork is set in the small town, in which it is named after, in the year 1955. This town is soon to be lost, covered in the waters of a dam. Some citizens are resisting the demands of Northforkís city council, though. Theyíre not going to leave their homes without a fight. In order to make sure that everyone departs from the town before it is flooded, three teams of two men are sent to various houses, whose occupants refuse to leave. These teamsí jobs are to forcefully and effectively persuade everyone who is refusing to flee from Northfork, to make a living elsewhere. This movie showcases the stories of many different citizens of this town, emphasizing on one boy it particular. The story is simple; the symbolism is deep, the emotions complex. Itís a riveting journey.

    Visuals and imagery are obviously one of the main focuses in Northfork. The cinematography, by David Mullen, is bleak, beautiful, and multi-layered. The textures of the look of this movie are what most impressed me. The appearance of this film make it worth going to, alone. I could gaze at Northfork for hours on end, and never lose any admiration for it. The way it works so spectacular, itís magical. It has such a distinct way of executing its plot, the extreme concentration on the visuals simply fits. Both of the Polish brothers wrote and produced this film together; one directed it, and the other is a member of the cast, as well. Northfork is a showcase of their astounding work, which is some of the best of the entire year. This is a masterful accomplishment, on the Polishís parts.

     It amazes me that so many critics have deemed Northfork to be one of the most boring motion pictures of the year. To be completely honest, this was one of the most engaging experiences Iíve had at a movie theatre, in a long time. I was involved in the story, and felt for each of the characters; I even found myself relating to many of the personalities in this flick. Make no mistake, Northfork is slow, and takes its time on every occasion that it needs to. I admired it for doing such, though. Almost every movie that I see these days has much too fast a pace, and is cut like some show, taken directly from MTV, and slapped onto cinema screens. When a movie is pretentiously slow, it can be awful to view. Iím very happy to be able to say that Northfork is never pretentious, though. Itís insanely impressive, more than anything, to watch.

     This film does have a few flaws, though. Most predominately lacking are the performances. While I did like Nick Nolte, James Woods, Duel Farnes, and Polishís efforts, many of the actors who play minor characterís work appears to be half-assed. While I did like the role that was written for her, Daryl Hannah, in specific, is extremely bland, even though somewhat interesting, in Northfork. All of the negative features in this flick are never bad enough to be actually distracting, however. When viewing, I never really hated one moment of it. Maybe itís not perfect, but this movie is, without a doubt, pretty damn great.

     Northfork is open for many interpretations, but mainly, itís about death and why most people fear it. Many of the characters are symbolic of the town the movies set in, which is always thought-provoking. One of the best of the year, and inspired indeed, this one stands out amongst the pack. If itís an often artsy, and very moving picture that will satisfy your movie-going needs, Northfork is definitely something to see.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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