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Audacious and ambitious even for Sayles, this starts, City of Hope-style, by tracing the connections between various inhabitants of an Alaskan coastal town on the verge of becoming a tourist trap. Gradually, country singer Mastrantonio and ex-fisherman Strathairn begin to put their painful pasts behind them as they embark on a relationship (though her damaged, resentful daughter Martinez is far from sure she wants to see yet another man in mom's life) - but then the seriously unexpected happens, forcing all three to question their priorities and to take risks. Stunningly acted and superbly shot (by Haskell Wexler), it is written, with Sayles' customary ear for vivid phrasing and telling details, as a meditation on man's desire to divorce himself not only from Nature but from his own true nature, imbuing the film with the intensity and rigour of an allegorical fable. And the ending truly makes you think about what you've just seen.

Release details

Duration: 127 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Sayles
Screenwriter: John Sayles
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
David Strathairn
Vanessa Martinez
Kris Kristofferson
Casey Siemaszko
Kathryn Grody
Rita Taggart
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