is about problems between different groups of people. This is not
only a film mouthing off on the conflicts between blacks and
whites, though the topic does take up a lot of the duration. This
is a movie based on war between authority and culture, economy and
society, and young people and their elders. Director John Sayles
crafts the pictureís character with care. He takes the wonderfully
written dialogue and births it as if the events it describes were
isnít a film that tries to cram itself full of action, and
interesting material, but rather tries to stay down to earth. The
characters have real emotions that get the best of them in
realistic situations. It knows where it wants to go, and reaches
its destination, only after the credits have to rolled. I canít
say that its one of the best films of the year, but it is
certainly the most well-made.
The plot focuses on one woman, named Desiree Perry. As the
film opens, we see her, accompanied by her husband, pulling up to
a restaurant in their car. She needs to use the restroom badly.
Though this might seem silly, it marks the beginning of a very
serious storyline. Before entering the restaurant Desiree, and her
husband have a small quarrel to decide whether blacks are allowed
in the vicinity or not.
takes place in present time, but African Americans have only just
gained the full rights of a Caucasian where it occurs. Desiree
uses the facilities without a problem, but several dirty looks
accompany her newfound legal privileges. After she finishes, she
and her husband hit the road again. When the vehicle comes to a
halt for the second time, the two have reached their destination;
the house of Desireeís mother. Desiree has not been to her
motherís house for a long time, nor has she been on the island in
which itís located. She has much to catch up on. In the time that
she had spent away from
two things had been happening. A developer began working on a plan
to demolish all of the old buildings on it, and Desireeís mother
had taken in a child. These aspects of the plot make an
emotionally exhilarating story thatís sure to please.
is full of excellent acting and beautiful direction, as well.
Performances by Angelica Basset, James McDaniel, and Edie Falco
match John Sayles inspirational direction. Basset plays the
emotionally tongue-tied Desiree with the utmost pride, and is very
convincing. McDaniel plays her husband, a relaxed man throwing
himself into the chaotic-state that Desiree istrapped in. McDaniel
doesnít get a lot of screen time, but he is good, regardless.
Falco playís a character that I did not introduce in a previous
paragraph. She is
the daughter of the owner of one of the islandís oldest hotels.
Marly does not want to give up the hotel to builders, who want to
destroy it and put in a shopping center where it exists. Her
father, who leaves all of its business to Marly, doesnít either.
Falco is terrific, and while her character does not want to sell
the family hotel, she knows that it would benefit her. She strives
for a better social life, but isnít able to have a very good one
because of her many responsibilities. All of these performances
coincide with Saylesí magnificent direction and produce an amazing
result. If you are one to enjoy watching cinema at its best,
Sunshine State is a sure bet!
-Danny, Bucket Reviews