Directed by John Sayles
I am hovering between a three star and four star rating for this one. Maybe writing this post will help make my decision. I know you are all on the edge of your seats, but you are just going to have to wait.
Sheriff Sam Deeds has a lot to live up to, as his father, Buddy Deeds, was lauded as the greatest sheriff Frontera (a fictional border town) has ever had. A story is frequently told by the retired deputy about how Buddy stood up to the old sheriff, the racist and corrupt Charlie Wade, and drove him out of town. Sam, however, resents his father, as Buddy ruined Sam's relationship with Pilar, the love of his life. When Charlie Wade's body is discovered at an old shooting range, Sam fears (or hopes?) that his father was the murderer.
I left out a lot of the subplots in my summary. I almost wish that the filmmakers had left them out too. For example, did we really need to see Sam's ex wife? It seemed like they wanted to give Frances McDormand some wacky part, but really couldn't fit her anywhere. I loved what they did with the flashbacks, although I do wish they had included more scenes with McConaughey (or McConababe, as my friend insists on calling him).
The entire film revolves around racial tensions and I appreciated that it wasn't packed with the usual cartoonish characters that often populate films that center around this theme. I have mixed feelings about the ending, but I suppose I will keep those to myself.
Right now I think I will stick to three stars, but I reserve the right to tweak it later.
Ron Canada plays Joe Morton's father, despite the fact that he is 18 months younger than Morton.