JunebugAfter our last experience with an independent film from a first-time director (see Thumbsucker), I think I had some apprehension going into is another independent film from a first-time director, so I was somewhat surprised by how much I enjoyed Junebug. The story itself was fairly simple, basically a culture clash story where the main character comes back his roots after a long time away and the resulting weirdness.

In addition to all the performances in the film being great (Amy Adams is nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress), the film moves with sort of an unassuming air that works perfectly. It doesn’t play anything for laughs and also seems very nonjudgemental towards all the different characters, which was very refreshing.

At first, some of the motivations and actions of the different characters seem like they might be a little misguided or simply done for dramatic effect, but as the film progresses, all the neurosis and quirks and emotional instabilities seem to fall into place and everything seems to make sense. The film touches on everything from education to religion to socio-economic classes, but does so in delicate ways and subtle ways and in doing so resonates even more powerfully. It’s one of those films that creates tension through peeling back different layers and doesn’t rely on gimmicks.

This is easily one of the better films I’ve seen lately. Highly recommended.