Down in the Valley
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- Filmmaker and actor Q&A
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- The Making of Down in the Valley
- Filmmaker and Actor Commentary
Top Customer Reviews
Set firmly amongst the freeways, tract-homes and the urban landscape of the San Fernando Valley, Down in the Valley centers on the character of Harlen (Ed Norton), a type of suburban cowboy, who lives in a netherworld of cowboy fantasies and rambles the Valley tipping his dopey hat to the ladies and promising skeptics he will earn their trust.
Harlen lives in a shabby motel, and when bored, pretends he's in Western movie shootouts playing with his guns and lassoing the kitchen chairs. He's been working as a gas station attendant that is until he meets the equally unmoored Tobe (Evan Rachel Wood). Tobe is the defiant and languorously beautiful teenage daughter of a local jail sheriff (hunky David Morse) and Harlan courts her with a cool self-composure.
Of course, from our eyes - and from Tobe's father's - Harlen is nothing but a white trash loser, a dolt who's probably verging on the edge of sanity. But the lovely Tobe doesn't see him this way and she falls for his old-world and romantic cowboy ways when he's actually more innocent and psychologically even younger than Tobe.
Harlen is in reality a child, a man out of place "down in the valley," this land of fast-paced activity, modern rules and where people never get out of their cars. Yet he's also impetuous and manipulative and often acts on the spur of the moment without thinking of the consequences.Read more ›
This movie charms and frightens the viewer. Harlan's progression into madness is slow and masked by his easy going nature, his simple humor and by his easy smile. But underneath, Harlan is seething, roiling in a world that doesn't fit him. A cowboy out of his element. A dead shot with a lightning quick draw. Harlan knows he's going to die, and he's determined to take some people with him.
Meanwhile, the children's father is finding ways to bridge the resentments which have split his family apart over time.Read more ›
When a beautiful and spirited teenager Tobe (Evan Rachel Wood), bored with the life there (and especially the life with her father or dysfunctional family), meets this charismatic guy working at a gas station, they fall in love with each other almost instantly. Tobe's younger brother Lonnie (Rory Culkin) also likes Harlan because of his free-spirited attitudes, but Harlan's unconventional behaviors (like riding a horse in the Valley) could be not only a joyful experience to Tobe and Lonnie, but also something much different than they had expected.
Bruce Dern is also seen in a minor role as an angry horse owner.
I do not give away much about the story, but I only say this. As Tobe's protective father (David Morse) understands, Harlan and his fantasy could be dangerous to the ones around him, and the film, which looks like a quirky romance about the incongruous couple in the first half, becomes suddenly more serious in the second. The gap between them is considerable though it is, I suppose, exactly what the writer/director David Jacobson wants to do. Still I am not sure that the downside of someone's fantasy could be or should be like this.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The picture makes you think it's going to be a western. The title also tends to lead you that way. It's not. Norton, of course, is a great actor. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Michael Bush
Yep, it took me 10 years to getting around to watching this. There was potential interest due to the casting which includes Ed Norton and Bruce Dern. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Karl Weaver
The acting and story here can't be faulted. Especially good are Evan Rachel Wood, David Morse, and, as always, Edward Norton. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Johnboy1
Nice acting but story is of low quality of a delusional man thinking he is a cowboy when never wasPublished 7 months ago by Edwin Kriel
I love Ed Norton so I wanted to love this movie but I don't. Didn't hold my interest.Published 8 months ago by Tya Collier
A small time thug, a petty criminal, thinks he is a cowboy in a mostly urban setting. Basically, a delusional "bad ass" wants to run off with a girl and the girl's dad... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Rocket Man 1001
This slow-burning indie flick tips its cowboy hat to American classics like Taxi Driver and Badlands. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Skywalker