Source: Catholic News Service
Atmospheric, well-acted, but overwrought and ultimately pointless melodrama set in 1950s Alabama about a lonely little girl (Dakota Fanning) with an Elvis Presley fixation, her mentally impaired father (David Morse), his estranged girlfriend (Robin Wright Penn), and religious zealot grandmother (Piper Laurie). Director Deborah Kampmeier gets high marks for settting the mood, but the backwoods Southern gothic story—replete with snakes both real and symbolic, a kindly wise black neighbor (Afemo Omilami), and oh-so-cathartic blues—fails to convince even in this allegorical context. A brief, nongraphic, underage rape, some sexual talk and a brief nongraphic adult encounter, nonsexual rear male nudity, underage drinking and a moderately jaundiced view of religion. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
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