The Great Plains, Montana, 1955: the town of Northfork is to be flooded for a dam project, and the government's six evacuation agents have two days to persuade those stubborn souls refusing to leave. One such is a bigamist building an ark; another a trigger-happy farmer; then there's Father Harlan (Nolte), caring for Irwin, an orphan who in fevered dreams meets and talks angelhood with a bunch of freaky eccentrics. Meanwhile, deathly questions also preoccupy two of the identically trench-coated agents: Walter (Woods) and son Willis (Polish) can't agree on whether to exhume, before the flood, a loved one left in Northfork cemetery. The 'magical realism' ladled on to this third part of the Polish Brothers' trilogy (after Twin Falls Idaho and Jackpot) is like treacle: sweet, sticky and finally far less appetising than it appears. The film does indeed look mostly attractive (a melange of Malick, Magritte and a little Lynch), even though Irwin's lost angels (Hannah, Edwards, and others), with their outlandish garb, gestures and characters, smack more of Burton in dispiritingly whimsical mood. Nolte does his disgruntled best with a maudlin role, and Woods alone gets what passes for comedy right. Targeting 'dreamlike', the Polishes partly succeed - but when were you last really touched by someone else's dream?
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Mark Polish, Michael Polish|