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After an unexpected inheritance comes their way, Esper (Matt Farnsworth) and Donna (Diane Foster) plunge into the "batch" business - cooking their own methamphetamine - only to watch it burn a scorching hole in their lives. Left with no one to trust, the two lovers find themselves on the run from a corrupt parole officer (Michael T. Weiss), Esper's gold-digging mother (Rosanna Arquette) and their own consuming addiction.
BONUS FEATURES - Documentaries by director Matt Farnsworth:
"Poor Man's Dope" (short version) and "Dying for Meth" (extended version)
Top Customer Reviews
Being in Iowa myself, and seeing first hand what meth does to people, this far fetched scheme to some people for quick cash, either by murder or manufacturing more drugs is actually a good plan to someone in the thrawls of meth psychosis. These folks can not think strait the longer and more meth someone uses. At first it starts recreational, and it's all down hill from there.
Matt Farnsworth does a great job with his first film, and a nice list of actors such as Rossanna Arquette (Executioner's song, Pulp Fiction), John Savage (The Deer Hunter), and Michael T Weiss (T.V.'s The Pretender). The acting is fair, and with the funding this was likely shot with, reasonable camera and film work. If you liked films like Requiem for A Dream, then this is worth a viewing.
I'm not so impressed with the film itself, mainly becuase, as a native and life-long Iowan, I find its characters and the portrayal of life here jarringly inauthentic. I live about fifty miles east of where most of the principal photography was done in 2005, and know the area quite well. While Farnsworth bases many of the incidents in the film on the real-life experience of meth addicts in southeast Iowa featured in the aforementioned documentary, this generic tale of addiction and disolution could have been set just about anywhere in rural America, from Georgia to Washington state. In many cases, realism has been sacrificed for drama where the truth is not especially interesting; Farnsworth tries his best to make things graphic and gritty, but ends up with something turgid and banal. The Greg Brown soundtrack is probably the coolest and most authentically Iowa thing about the whole production. And why, oh why do these actors talk the way they do? They all seem to have adopted a decidedly southern drawl, which is NOT the way people around here speak. Also, while I know of many congenitally stupid, venial, egregiously incompetent and hypocritical law-enforcement officials--and even a few corrupt ones , the over the top depiction of the so-called parole officer in "Iowa" as a violently misogynistic animal is way too far over the top to be believable--anywhere! Again, played like a cardboard cut-out of a sadistic redneck southern lawman that we've all seen dozens of times before. Iowa is a nice place to live; but "Iowa" was a major disappointment.
I will admit, there were some great geography panoramas, a few nice town square shots and plenty of dilapidation preserves. But the plethora of tweaking episodes and unique camera angles attempting to make the watcher understand tweaking, gets overwhelming. The story revolves around a young couple trying to make a better life for themselves in a small city Iowa setting. Instead of going the right way, they cook meth, share needles, tweak, and then tweak some more. Splice in more forced/rape sex scenes then should be in a film like this, some disgusting flushed baby scenes, meth sex and voila, a film enamored with the fallout of meth usage.
There are obviously important points to take away from this, and it does not belittle the need to raise awareness on this scary epidemic, but it just feels muddled and lost too many times. Decent performances, nice footage, some short DVD extras make for an ok release, but definitely not rewatchable. Some of the cast and crew are making what appears to be a more approachable film this year so I know we will be seeing more of them.
Now, this film IS called "Iowa", and no it's not heaven, it's pure, sleaze-ridden drug Hell. It's not even up to level of the all-night, drive-in exploitation movies that are lovingly referred to as "grindhouse classics" nowadays. Matt Farnsworth should take the measly proceeds from this embarrassing failure and use them to go to a film school to learn how to direct a movie. The Coen Brothers, Tarentino, and Larry Clark cover some tawdry territory, but they do it in style. And, David Lynch, bless his weirdness, actually made a lovely film about Iowa called "The Straight Story".
Really, I wish I could say something good about this movie, but I can't. The production values, the acting, the plot, the dialogue---every component of the film is simply awful. The musical score? Well, the musical score could be a plus, since it features a number of folksinger Greg Brown's better imitations of Johnny Cash, but the snippets are too short to appreciate, and the audio to the dvd is marred by an annoying "tunnel effect".
The Iowa State Legislature should draft a resolution in the form of a restraining order which prevents Mr. Farnsworth from ever filming in the state again. He's an embarrassment to a state that produced Jean Seberg, Sue Lyon, John Wayne, Cloris Leachman and other film greats.
As for this cow chip of a movie, may it deservedly sink into the great recycling lagoon reserved for total stinkeroos!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wonder if anybody who watched this movie said Now that brings back memories?! If there ever was a movie on the reasons why you should not do Crystal Meth then Iowa is it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by brody manson
It is very good movie to really see the problem we still have with the problem still aroundPublished 16 months ago by william brink
wow what a crazy movie but well worth watching the ending w/Diane foster is fantastic Matt Farnsworth &Diane Foster are magic together in this movie you believe their love for each... Read morePublished on December 3, 2013 by christine
being originally from appanoose co.i liked the film i could see alot of the familiar sites. there is a large meth problem there it was not that far fetched. mr. Read morePublished on October 31, 2013 by Cindy L. Traub