Directed by Phil Morrison • 2005 • United States
Starring Amy Adams, Embeth Davidtz, Ben McKenzie
Amy Adams (in her Academy Award–nominated breakthrough performance) shines in this bittersweet comedy about love, family, ambition, and the choices that come with each. When Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz), a British-born dealer in outsider art, travels from Chicago to North Carolina to pursue a painter for her gallery, she and her near-perfect Southern husband George (Alessandro Nivola) extend the trip to include an introduction to his family: prickly mother Peg (Celia Weston), taciturn father Eugene (Scott Wilson), angry younger brother Johnny (Ben McKenzie), and Johnny’s pregnant, childlike wife Ashley (Adams). Although Ashley immediately takes to the sophisticated Madeleine, the other members of George’s family are less than receptive, giving rise to hidden anxieties and festering resentments.