SCRIPT TITLE. Written by JUNEBUG. ASHLEY. Let’s do it now. Junebug. I mean, his real name will be Johnny. But we’ll call him. Junebug. And if it’s a little. So Angus’ script for “Junebug” was appealing to me primarily because I could see First, “Junebug” is about people communicating across great divides. Junebug is a American comedy-drama film directed by Phil Morrison. It was released on . «Junebug» Box Office Mojo; ^ Junebug screenwriter Angus MacLachlan strikes again with stone Archived at the Wayback Machine.
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With a funny, heartbreaking performance from Amy Adams, Junebug is a subtle, modest but unforgettable film, says Tim Robey. It’s a rare treat when a truly wonderful film comes along as quietly, as unassumingly, as Junebug. The title alone is gorgeous – it refers to a kind of nocturnal beetle, used in Phil Morrison’s film as a nickname for an unborn child. And the whole film comes at you, in a way, like a whispered term of endearment: You may want to see it twice.
If the film’s scrfenplay sounds at all familiar, credit its single Oscar nomination – Best Supporting Actress for Amy Adamswho gives one of the most delicately funny and heartbreaking performances it’s ever been my pleasure to review.
Junebug Screenplay | Scripts on Screen
Still, just the one nomination? I’m tempted to say it deserved about Embeth Davidtz, in the lead role of a newlywed art dealer, Madeleine, meeting her husband’s Southern Baptist family for the first time, is scarcely any less impressive. Angus MacLachlan’s script is even better, and considerably subtler, than Noah Baumbach’s nominated screenplay for another low-key American indie, The Squid and the Whale. But what’s special about Junebug, in the end, is its perfect modesty, the very quality that presumably kept it below the Academy radar.
It pushes no big political statement, and never feels any need to sell or sanctify its own virtues. Like the very best of Raymond Carver’s short stories, it is just a small, good thing, and one to treasure immoderately. We begin at an art auction: Madeleine is there, soon to meet her somewhat younger future husband, George Alessandro Nivolato the strains of a gloriously infectious song called Harmour Love, by Syreeta, which powers up the opening credits with a sugar-rush of dippy romantic feeling.
From the moment she appears, Davidtz’s Madeleine is this totally plausible person – superficially brittle, and a little highly strung, as you would presumably need to be to make it in Chicago’s art world, but never exaggerating those qualities to the point where they deface her as a recognisable human being. Compare Sarah Jessica Parker’s gruesome Meredith in the similarly-plotted The Family Stonewho screamed “frigid career woman” from her first waxy close-up, and you can appreciate all the better how gently Davidtz lets her character’s foibles slip, how she communicates an earnest wish to be liked, and with what touching optimism we’re encouraged to oblige.
Six months later, Madeleine is approached to try and coax an undiscovered and frankly insane painter of Christian folk art, the burbling David Wark Frank Hoyt Taylorinto signing on with her agency.
He happens to live close to George’s family in North Carolina, and the couple, now married, take the opportunity to pay their first visit – a useful coincidence for which Madeleine will be unluckily punished in both camps.
Screenplya instantly gets off on the wrong foot with George’s bruiser of a mother, Peg Celia Westonby calling her Pat; his kindly, laconic father Eugene Scott Wilson and grousing, hostile younger brother Johnny Benjamin McKenzie, on loan from The OC mainly stay out of the way, absorbed in their own arcanely male household rituals.
It pains me to have to introduce this lot with a couple of adjectives apiece, since, again, they all deserve about These beautifully drawn characters just can’t be reduced or pigeonholed so glibly, and the film’s ensemble, making the most of the splendid opportunities MacLachlan’s script offers them, are unimprovably sharp across the board.
Where you’re expecting an exaggerated comedy of town-and-country manners, pitting pious, suspicious in-laws against the worldly, patronising Madeleine, Junebug courageously demurs, time and again: Then there’s Amy Adams. As Johnny’s heftily pregnant wife, Ashley, she creates such a startlingly adorable portrait of guileless chatterbox naivety that you almost worry that she won’t be able to sustain it – that it’s going to tip over into scrunchy-faced ingratiation, or holy-innocent caricature.
But if there’s a note of either in this surely career-making performance, I missed it, twice.
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The movie loves Ashley dearly: Morrison’s film really is on another level from just about everything around it – the difference between a good film and a great one is, for sdreenplay, the difference between a Squid and the Whale, or a Sidewaysand this. The world needs more movies like Junebug. It’s debatable whether the world needs more Scary Movies. Scary Movie 4 is some kind of high-water screenppay.
It’s funny, then cringe-inducing, then funny again. I laughed, quite a bit. Partly it’s director David Naked Gun Zucker’s old-pro timing, but mainly it’s that the targets are better. He has no problem pricking the pomposity of The Village and War of the Worldsbut the fact that both movies were trying to Say Things About America makes this work, not very intentionally, as an endearingly stupid state-of-the-nation satire.
It certainly goes one up on Team America: World Police by leaping right for the Bush jugular, enlisting Leslie Nielsen to sit in a classroom pooh-poohing the alien invasion to listen to a story about a duck. Later, he thinks the UN rhymes with “bun”. Any film that rips this amount of mickey out of the American president and Million Dollar Baby has got to be on to something. But will it go for Tom Cruise, as played with a disconcerting grin by Craig Bierko?
Will it depict him as a freaky whooping zealot? Oh yes it will.
Junebug : [screenplay] (Book, ) 
He’ll regret ever jumping on Oprah’s couch after this. In Pictures – the story of junebjg and romance: Compiled by Martin Chilton. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Sunday 30 December A small, quiet miracle. In a class of its own: An endearingly stupid satire: Scary Movie 4 It’s debatable whether the world needs more Scary Movies.
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