E.F. Bloodworth (Kris Kristofferson) is an old troubadour that abandoned his wife and three young sons in the Tennessee hinterland 40 years ago. The mother raised the children on her own. She is now a mental wreck. Her sons are victims of alcoholism, drugs, violence, abandonment and adultery. Fleming Bloodworth (Reece Daniel Thompson), the grandson E.F. does not know he had, is surprisingly balanced and responsible given his upbringing and surrounding. He is trying to rise above it all.
Picture an environment of swamps, thick woods, dusty dirt roads, decrepit towns, shabby saloons, populated by Deliverance people all around. After 40 years, E.F. comes back to face his demons, and what’s left of the family has to cope with it, or crash down in shards and flames.
The film, directed by Shane Dax Taylor, tells the story of a southern family with many skeletons in the basement and shadows of ghosts looming over them to fill many lifetimes. The music by T-Bone Burnett (Crazy Heart) is authentic and draws us into the southern scenes and the lazy mood of desperate people with all their dreams shattered and hope suffocated.
Predictable to a point, trite and slow at times, the story nonetheless captured me enough to sit there all the way through the final credits listening to Kristofferson crooning away. I was there, right in the story.
Rating: ** 1/2