Jayne Mansfield's Car: movie review (R)

Film

Drama

Jayne Mansfield's Car

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Sep 10 2013

If you’ve ever wanted to see Billy Bob Thornton simulate masturbation while a naked Englishwoman recites “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” run, don’t walk, to your nearest theater—primarily because Thornton’s misbegotten fourth feature won’t be there long. Set in 1969 rural Alabama, the Sling Blade star’s first outing as writer-director since 2001’s Daddy and Them bundles generational and culture clashes into a story that focuses on the scars, literal and figurative, of combat.

A Great War veteran (Robert Duvall, overacting to the hilt) has three sons (Kevin Bacon, Thornton and Robert Patrick) who fought in WWII and a grandson who is nearly eligible for the Vietnam draft. The death of his ex-wife brings her stuffy British second husband (John Hurt) and family into town, with their own domestic conflicts. It’s a lot to keep track of (even without the title, referring to a morbid sideshow attraction involving the purported car in which the busty star was nearly decapitated), and Thornton never establishes a rhythm that would let him move between stories without it feeling like he’s changing channels on a vintage TV, the dial clunking into place every time he moves on. There’s ambition here, but little in the way of insight or genuine feeling—just a heavy-handed thesis and some extraneous Southern eccentricity.

Follow Sam Adams on Twitter: @SamuelAAdams

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Release details

Rated:

R

Duration:

122 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Billy Bob Thornton

Cast:

Billy Bob Thornton, Robert Duvall, Kevin Bacon, Robert Patrick, John Hurt

Screenwriter:

Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Epperson

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3 / 5

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sisterchef

All the lovely pieces of this movie needed something more than the idea of sons and fathers and war to tie them together. I was tense and fearful part of the time, but never fully invested in any of the relationships or even the individual characters. I will often rewatch a movie to see if I missed something...I do not believe that is necessary in this case.