Posted by toni-s on:
We attended a screening of "That Evening Sun". It was shown Friday night and Saturday morning at the Metro 4 as part of the Santa Barbara Film Festival. It played to a well-deserved full house. Taken from the short story by William Gay, who writes sensitively about the south, this movie was poignant and exquisitely crafted. Hal Holbrook beautifully plays the complex character, Abner Meecham, an old farmer, who finds himself alone in a nursing home environment he did not choose. Determined to go "home" he makes his way back to his farm, to find that his son has rented the place to the family of Lonzo Choat, who Abner views as "good-for-nothing" white trash. As Abner makes his choice to stay on the farm, against the wishes of everyone involved, he is presented with several opportunities to help or hinder. As the movie progresses we learn that Abner is feisty, unflinching and unwilling to reach out to any of the helping hands that are offered to him. Ray McKinnon plays Lonzo Choat, a man who has always been a "failure" and still struggles to transform himself and the life of his family, who tries and fails, and still tries to do the right thing. Carrie Preston's performance as Ludie is nuanced and touching as a wife who has watched her husband fail, has suffered his abuse, but who still loves him. Mia Wasikowska is the daughter, Pamela, who reaches out in friendship to Abner, who has also experienced abuse at her father's hands. Her performance was lovely in it's tenderness and confusion.
The rest of the cast, Walton Goggins as Abner's neighbor and Barry Corbin as Abner's son Paul, are perfectly pitched and satisfying complex, in this story of the south that vibrates with the beauty of place and human conflict.
Directed by Scott Teems, music by Michael Penn, Produced in part by Santa Barbara local, Laura Smith.