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Honeydripper

August 30, 2010

Honeydripper (2007)
Director: John Sayles
Actors: Danny Glover, Gary Clark Jr, Yaya DaCosta

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Synopsis: In ’50s rural Alabama, it’s crunch time for the “Honeydripper” bar and its owner Tyrone Purvis (Danny Glover).

Review: Though hardly covering new ground in his latest ensemble drama, John Sayles nevertheless creates an endearing and heartfelt elegy to the subtle changes taking place to a small Alabama community in the early 1950s. Sketching the social politics in with broad strokes rather than the more expansive canvas of some of his other films, proves a sensible ploy in maintaining the feelgood air of nostalgia, and not smothering the trajectory of the narrative too much. As elsewhere in his body of work, Sayles proves a master at slowing the pace down so his characters can exist as organic and three-dimensional players, and in letting a sense of time and place seep into his narrative world. Though marginally schematic in one or two of the climactic sequences, almost as if Sayles is trying too transparently to tie up the various subplots into one optimistic whole, I still take as much pleasure from a Sayles minor work over so-called ‘major’ pieces from more renown filmmakers currently working in American cinema. (July 2008)

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