Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Holly Hunter, Carrie Coon, Kim Coates, Glenne Headly, Ransom Ashley, Walker Babington, Craig Boe, Turner Crumbley, Lucy Faust, Susan Gallagher, Andrene Ward-Hammond, Shane Jacobsen, Craig Boe
Written by: Katherine Dieckmann
Directed by: Katherine Dieckmann
MPAA Rating: R for a scene of sexuality
Running Time: 92
Date: 07/28/2017
IMDB

Strange Weather (2017)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Frank Discussions

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This slight drama doesn't have very much to it, but any movie about a middle-aged woman is a welcome rarity, and in it, Holly Hunter proves she can still bring life and spirit to any kind of material.

In Strange Weather, Darcy Baylor (Holly Hunter) works as a college administrator in Georgia and thinks about getting her degree, but can never fill out the application. She never really stops thinking about her teen son, who committed suicide years before. She drifts through the extremely hot, drought-filled days, occasionally seeing Clayton (Kim Coates) and hanging out with her best friend Byrd (Carrie Coon).

When she learns that an old friend of her son's stole his business plan for a hot dog restaurant chain, Darcy grabs Byrd and hits the road to confront the thief, and find out what he has to say for himself. But what does Darcy hope to gain from the meeting?

Written and directed by Katherine Dieckmann, Strange Weather spends a great deal of time watching the characters sitting around in the Georgia heat and talking, talking, talking. At least the second half at least includes a little driving.

However, thanks to deep characterizations and with Hunter leading the way, it almost sounds as if we've dropped in on the neighbors. Characters talk about people they all know, regardless of whether we've ever even heard of them, and, though it's somewhat frustrating, it feels real.

Dieckmann also brings to the movie an interracial lesbian couple, with very little comment and no judgment. Yet none of this would have worked without the spunky firecracker Hunter, who, in a celebrated career of 30 years, has always demonstrated the ability to make her characters breathe, think, and actually exist, between lines of dialogue.

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