Earthwork

Film
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Every crop artist should be so lucky to have John Hawkes, lanky character actor and recent Oscar nominee (Winter's Bone), portray them onscreen. Cast as Stan Herd, the living-sculpture creator from Lawrence, Kansas, who turned an Upper West Side lot into a pastoral masterpiece, Hawkes is the best thing about Chris Ordal's folksy biopic, adding both a pleasurable warmth and palpable gravitas even when the back-to-the-land sentimentalizing become toxicly sappy. The writer-director does have a wonderful eye---a shot of a tractor wheel sticking out of the Hudson River is museumworthy---but his grasp of the melodramatic could use a little more grounding.

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