film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Country 1984 * * * 1/2 Stars

CountryDirector: Richard Pearce
Year: 1984
Rated PG
Rating: * * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Jessica Lange, Sam Shepard, Wilfred Brimley

1984's Country is a powerful, building, and earthy drama. As something that chronicles a family whose farm ownership is being threatened by the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA), Country is extremely well-acted, old-worded, Reagan Era-ed, and authentic (you can hear the tractors rumbling, the real-life farmers grumbling, and the sheep saying "baa").

Granted, Country ends on a sort of unresolved note and it's almost forgotten amongst the viewers who watched it relentlessly on HBO circa 1985 (the only way I could view it again was by purchasing the darn thing on Amazon DVD).

Still, Country begets real conflict. It gets raw performances from its cast (Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange, Wilford Brimley) and for the most part, hits realistically close to home (my mother's side of the family were proud farmers in rural Indiana).

Look for the greatest acting ever by a two-year-old (Lange's character's little daughter), some solid acting from someone who has never done it before (milieu resident Levi L. Knebel), and some echt locales courtesy of small-town Readlyn, Iowa. "In a big country dreams stay with you". They almost do in small "country" land as well. Rating: 3 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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