Saturday, May 31, 2008

Down in the Valley (2005) R - 2½ Stars

A cowboy from South Dakota in the valley of Los Angeles, falls in love with a girl against her fathers wishes. I actually liked this movie and started to get into it and feel it could have been such a better production if more direction were considered along the way. I love Edward Norton's character and actually all do a great job of acting but some scenes are flawed and some drag on. There is no chance to interact on any deep level and pull you into the characters. But WOW, check out the gas station prices just 3 years ago, $2.19 a gallon, $4.59 here in L.A. now.

Tobe (Evan Rachel Wood) 18, is a young teen on the way to beach with her girlfriends. They stop to get gas where a good looking cowboy Harlan (Edward Norton), gives them full service. The girls flirt with Harlan who tells them he is just here from So. Dakota and never seen the beach before. Tobe suggests he come with them and without a second thought, Harlan quits his job and jumps in their car. Though there is quite a difference in their ages, Tobe and Harlan immediately hit it off. She loves the romantic and simple ways that this cowboy speaks and he is drawn to her by her innocent and sexuality.

Tobe's father Wade (David Morse), is the sheriff of a town in California's San Fernando Valley and he doesn't approve of this love affair between his 18 year old daughter and a 30 something cowboy. He's a single parent doing his best to raise two children but Tobe refuses to allow her domineering dad to stop her from seeing this boy who has awoken her. Soon she will question and slightly become leery of Harlan when the two go horseback riding and end up being confronted by gun toting Charlie (Bruce Dern), a local rancher Harlan has borrowed the horse from. It seems Harlan has told Tobe he got the horse from his old friend Charlie, who in actuality has never seen or met Harlan before. This makes her wonder if there's more to Harlan then he in letting on but she just can't agree that maybe her father was right. When she catches Harlan teaching her little brother Lonnie (Rory Culkin), how to shoot with a hand guns, she still tries to hold on to the one thing that has taken her away from her solitude.

Wade threatens Harlan to stay away from his daughter, Lonnie becomes more intrigued and starts to look up to Harlan and Tobe rebellious behavior grows to unearth their already unstable household.

Director: David Jacobson
Writer: David Jacobson
Producers: Stavros Merjos, Adam Rosenfelt, Holly Wiersma
I viewed 5/07


LOGROLL said...

Hi zola,
Only God know where my love is.
Nobody knew I'll marry with Linda in that town of Ohio. Even though I'm in Gwangju,South Korea now, that's too vivid to me.

Joseph said...

One scene that I keep thinking back to is Ed Norton's character with the donuts. Some great symbolism there.