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A Painted House 2003
Description: A young boy, his family, and the migrant workers they hire to work their cotton farm struggle vs hard odds to raise and sell the crop. Meanwhile, the man dreams of living in better conditions. However, with this particularly tough farming season, the man learns that his challenges tutorial him in discovering who he really is.
Released: 27 Apr 2003 Director: Alfonso Arau Writers: Patrick Sheane Duncan (teleplay), John Grisham (novel), John Grisham Actors: Scott Glenn, Arija Bareikis, Robert Sean Leonard, Melinda Dillon Genres: Drama, Family
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A Painted House Reviews:

In Arkansas during the Korean War, 10-year-old Luke Chandler lives with his parents and grandparents on a farm where cotton is the basic crop. To pick the cotton, the family gotta hire 'hill people' and Mexicans. The hill folks do not receive along particularly well with those who look down on them, and sometimes they receive into fights. Hank Spruill is especially prone to getting in trouble. One day in the house, he makes demands of Luke and, figuring Luke looks down on him, points out that at least his house is painted, while to Luke's family, paint is a luxury. Soon in the movie, part of the house has been mysteriously painted. The prime suspect is Hank's disabled brother Trot, who can't work in the fields.Luke witnesses a war Hank gets into that effects in a death. He is scared to say the truth since Hank doesn't like him anyway, but the police officer who investigates appears pleased with the explanation of self-defense. Hank's teenage sister appears to be falling for Luke at first, but soon she is seen with Cowboy, one of the Mexicans, and Hank already despises Cowboy.The difficult life on the farm is made even worse by few weather happenings during the second half of the movie. The promise of better times ahead is recommended when Luke's cousin shows up in a brand fresh Buick (Luke has never even been in a car, only trucks). His spoiled rich wife can't trust folks have to live like this and is horrified by having to test an outhouse (This was one of my favourite scenes; Kiersten Warren is so nice in roles like this). Also, the entire city is excited by a fresh thing named tv and the concept of now being able to watch the Globe Series. Luke is a Cardinals fan, but he gives up his dream of a Cardinals jacket for something more important.This is almost a family movie. There are two violent scenes that effect in deaths (both witnessed by Luke; the second time, the person responsible threatens Luke's mother if he tells). Folks receive into wars a lot in this environment, but the others are no large deal. Another possible red flags for parents: the birth of a kid to an unwed mother, and the identification of a possible father. Another than these incidents, this film should be acceptable viewing for the whole family.This film was well done, and I thought the performances by many of the actors were good. I especially liked Luke's grandfather, who should be stern but tender. Not everyone has an simple life, and those of us who had it too soft can learn a lot from a film such as this.


Maybe sometimes, we forget, with our plush life and actual definition of "poverty", what things were like for rural "working poor" even as recently as the 50's. Survival, even for a boy who owned the land, took a various strength of character. Is it good, or is it regretful those times have passed? More cash yes, but were better times up North in the auto plants? I suppose, but this is nostalgia, and not terrible either.It was a nice family movie, narrated like the Waltons, I kept waiting for "goodnight Luke-boy". Yah, Tiny House on the Prairie too, a bit more reality, but did another commenters really expect this to be as finished as the book, any book? Personally, I'm tired of hearing book-readers whine about "what they left out". Don't watch films if you read the book. This is certainly wandering reminiscences, but that's other kind of literature too, isn't it? Why does each storyline have to be going somewhere special? To me it's a cute nice coming of age film and worth the hour and a half at least, and everytime a pleasure watching Scott Glenn, when he gets nice parts.


I read John Grisham's novel over the summer and have to tell that this film is just too watered down. The ebook was grittier and could have been made into a theatrical movie, instead of becoming "Hallmarkized." With the music, the stiff acting and the script, I felt like I was watching The Waltons or a certain Michael Landon/Melissa Gilbert '70s show. Nothing wrong with a family movie, but the ebook had more of an edge and I think was closer to Grisham's true life experiences than this watered down version. Examples (SPOILERS ALERT): 1. Hank's sudden source of income. In the ebook he earned it gambling and spent a lot of time at the carnival. In fact, the whole carnival/wrestler segment, which stood out in the book, is missing from the movie. 2. The conflict between Hank and Cowboy seemed staged and silly. Cowboy didn't have a "West Side Story"-like switchblade in the book, either. It was a huge buck knife, as I remember. 3. Tally was barefoot, indicating the poverty lvl of the Spurills. She was not wearing Keds. 4. The segments in the ebook between Tally and Cowboy were a tiny more intimate than just embracing in the fields. 5. The Latcher subplot was just an aside. In the book, it is a lot more significant.You receive the point--this could have been a hard, PG-13 film instead of a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation (which will probably receive a PG on video as there is a tiny violence, albeit very muted). In fact the only reason I watched this was because of Scott Glenn, who was excellent as Pappy. Maybe they'll test it again, for the theater!



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