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Tumbleweeds

4.3 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Mary Jo Walker (Janet McTeer) is a Southern mother who hides her self-consciousness by overcompensating. She drinks, wears revealing outfits, and says things that other people would never even consider. Fleeing her latest abusive relationship, she and her daughter, twelve-year-old Ava (Kimberly Brown), head out west.

Special Features

  • DVD-ROM Content

Product Details

  • Actors: Janet McTeer, Kimberly J. Brown, Jay O. Sanders, Gavin O'Connor, Laurel Holloman
  • Directors: Gavin O'Connor
  • Writers: Gavin O'Connor, Angela Shelton
  • Producers: Gavin O'Connor, Angela Shelton, Greg O'Connor, Jerry McFadden, Joel Stillerman
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 24, 2000
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RFAK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,506 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tumbleweeds" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on May 8, 2000
Format: DVD
I postponed seeing this film in the theatre because the DVD can be purchased for the price of two movie tickets. I usually triage films I eventually watch -- some I must see on the big screen, some I rent, and some I buy on blind faith and film reviews. This film fell into the last category. The critics wrote very favorable comments about Janet MeTeer's performance, and of course she won a Golden Globe, so I wasn't taking too much of a risk, and I was not disappointed in my decision.
Janet McTeer plays a dislocated single mom named Mary Jo Walker. She is so real I swear I knew her back in North Carolina. Her daughter Ava, played by Kimberly J. Brown looks like a real child and has a real child's problems.
I couldn't gauge the time period of the film but the bathing suits were right out of the late fifties or early sixties (they weighed a ton when you got them wet). Ava's English teacher uses the phrase "dissed" which seems out of place to me as I don't remember that term being used before the seventies.
Depending on the period, things were better or worse for single moms and their offspring although California was the place to be until very recently if you wanted to survive (too expensive now! ). There was a time when the only way a female could deal with an unhappy home life was to "get married" and run away, and then "get married" and run away, etc. and the first thing you knew you woke up one morning and found you had been married 3 or 4 times, were unemployed, and still waiting for the knight in shining armor who never seemed to show up.
I know what it feels like to run away from an abusive parent at age 17, dropping out of high-school and marrying the first guy who asked.
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Format: DVD
Tumbleweeds was a brilliant film. Both Janet McTeer and Kimberly Brown were outstanding as a mother and daugther travelling pretty much across country and running away from mean boyfriends. It is a great story of a relationship between mother and daughter, and not only is Mary Jo a great mother but she is also a great friend to her daughter. This film made me laugh alot. There is alot of humor to it. I rented the DVD, and after the ending(which i loved, that's all i will say about it), I watched it w/ the audio commentary for awhile, and it's a great way to learn more about the whole process of film making, and I would not have known that the director/writer of the film had also acted in it. I recommend this film to all, It's a must see!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of the sweetest movies I have ever seen. The daughter is the one who has to be a 'mom' to her wild and crazy mother, whose wild spirit and terrible taste in men leads them both down some rough roads. Like tumbleweeds they drift along on life's journey. Follow them both on their path to growing up together.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Saw this movie on tv a long time ago and loved it. Was so happy to see it available on dvd and ordered it right away. Now, I can watch it whenever I want to be inspired by a mother/daughter relationship. Thanks
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Format: DVD
A familar mother-daughter tale receives refreshingly uncompromising treatment in "Tumbleweeds", buoyed by a stellar performance from McTeer, who was Oscar-nominated. Young Brown also shines as a daughter forced to grow up too soon. Director O'Connor knows his material, and does a fine turn himself as rugged trucker Jack, Sara Jo's latest love interest.
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By robina on October 3, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I liked the story but for my taste it was a little too much information as far as private intimate moments between mother and daughter. I bought it because my daughter said it was her favorite movie and for the price I bought her one and myself one.
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Format: DVD
“Tumbleweeds” (1999) stars Janet McTeer and Kimberly J. Brown as a mother and daughter in this semi-road movie slice-of-life. Mary Jo (the mother) is a quality soul—humble, honest, bold, down-to-earth and optimistic—yet she’s perpetually attracted to the wrong men and has been married four times, but at least she has the smarts to leave when abuse starts. Ava (the daughter) is about 12-13 and is weary of being a living tumbleweed; she understandably wants to stay in San Diego where she finds herself finally establishing roots. Michael J. Pollard has a small role as Mary Jo’s boss while Gavin O'Connor, Jay O. Sanders and Laurel Holloman have more significant roles.

“Tumbleweeds” only cost $312,000 in 1999, which goes to show that you can make a quality film with good actors on a shoestring budget. The second half is better than the first half and so it takes a while to immerse oneself into the world of the characters. The film won my respect in the second half with an impressive scene in the camper between Ava and Dan (Sanders).

Speaking of Ava, she’s a good kid, but there are a couple of scenes where she gets on your nerves, like blowing bubbles at the dinner table and reading Shakespeare in the restaurant (more on this below). I also didn’t like the faddish shaky camera, which I’m sure was done to add a tone of realism. Women will appreciate this film more than I did because the entire movie revolves around the mother & daughter as best friends and their drama & antics, most of which is fun, but some tacky and verging on crude (I said “verging”).

I should add that I appreciate the way Jack (O’Connor) wasn’t displayed as an over-the-top bad boyfriend. His criticisms on various situations were reasonable, but read below for further commentary.
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