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Tumbleweeds (1999)

Janet McTeer , Kimberly J. Brown , Gavin O'Connor  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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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 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 24, 2000
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RFAK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,528 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tumbleweeds" on IMDb

Special Features

  • DVD-ROM Content

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It made me laugh, it made me cry... May 8, 2000
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED THIS MOVIE! April 17, 2000
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tumbleweeds July 18, 2007
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I have recently discovered director/actor/anyone commentary on DVDs. For the longest time, I would complain that they added no value to any film, and that as a critic I chose not to listen to them because I wanted to enjoy the film in its final version - audio commentaries are like being in the kitchen of a elaborate restaurant ... do you really want to know what goes in your food? Actually, and rather surprisingly, I have recently found the answer to be "yes", and have been devouring commentaries like minute candy. I have discovered many truths and errors of many directors or actors as they humorously and severely critique their bodies of work. One of my most recent adventures involved the film "Tumbleweeds", which garnished several awards (with great respect) for Janet McTeer, but made me realize one small facet of cinema that I don't think about when I watch movies directly - there is a reason the directors are behind the camera, and typically, not in front. In "Tumbleweeds", my case is built around Gavin O' Conner - the director, whom in my unprofessional opinion shouldn't be either in front of the camera or at least talking behind it. He is a decent director, but not one that should open his mouth or voice an opinion - harsh words? I don't think so. He completely destroyed the ambiance of this film.

Well, if I haven't completely disgusted the reader by this point, I have such pulled them in so that I have to explain myself and my comments about the above remark. As I watched "Tumbleweeds" for a second time, I realized that it was a wonderful film about a mother and daughter team that travels across the country avoiding the mother's mishaps with wrong men. It is a touching story that is helmed by one of the most unappreciated actresses of our time, Janet McTeer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent McTeer makes TUMBLEWEEDS What it is! December 14, 2007
In 1999,English stage actress and 1997 Broadway Tony Award winner Janet McTeer snagged the GOLDEN GLOBE for her incredibly honest,natural and forthright portrayal of the feisty Southern "tumbleweed" Mary Jo Walker.Her performance ran up against Annette Bening,Meryl Streep,Julianne Moore and ultimate winner Hilary Swank for the top prize at the Oscars.Anyone who loves films that have deeply-etched characters must see TUMBLEWEEDS, because what you get from actress Janet McTeer is almost a rarity in films today,IMO.McTeer who followed this performance with another nominated role in SONGCATCHER in 2000,is quite simply put magnificent.There is such depth and pathos put into this character of a mother who uproots along with her 12 year old daughter (an equally amazing and compelling Kimberly J.Brown) every time her doomed relationships with men don't work out.Her choices are terrible and the effects on her Ava are both tragic,hilarious,boundary blurring and ultimately touching.These performances are among the best I have ever seen on film.
The screenplay, though,starts very HBO and descends to LIFETIME near the end and becomes a little too cliche and pat, thus giving the film a 4 star rating.The acting, though, is WAY UP THERE and should be viewed for watching a real stage actress captured on the big screen.Janet McTeer is the consummate actress who is best known for her UK work on T.V. and the stage, but in her few American films, she has managed to capture this viewer's eye each time she performs.
See her in SONGCATCHER and you will see what I mean.Remember, this is a Brit doing what most homegrown girls can't seem to do!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars good movie
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. Read more
Published 6 months ago by robina
5.0 out of 5 stars fun movie
I saw this movie on HBO several years ago and liked it but could never find it again on television so I decided to buy it. It is a cute and funny movie that you will enjoy.
Published 12 months ago by sleepingbeauty
4.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes, it's not about the story!
I have to confess: when I first saw this movie, I didn't quite get all the attention it got. I thought, "Big deal! Mother/daughter relationship woes. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Lola
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I ordered this for my daughter. She said it was fantastic. I will see it when she comes home for Spring Break. It arrived in great condition and on time. Thanks!
Published 14 months ago by Debbie Tokarz
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a FANTASTIC movie!!
Wonderful acting - Wonderful story - It's a movie that caught me off guard - I didn't expect it to grab me like it did. Not quite a 5 star, but it's a 4 1/2 star. TRY IT!!!
Published 15 months ago by Kristine Casteel
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching life comedy
Mary-Jo Walker (Janet McTeer) is great at acting the good time girl. Not so great at understanding herself and her emotions. Read more
Published 16 months ago by pipnuts
3.0 out of 5 stars Good movie about a dysfunctional woman
Movies about dysfunctional women always make me uneasy (OK, they make me downright mad! LOL). I can't help but think "What are you thinking!?! Read more
Published on March 31, 2011 by katieray
1.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't Work
This is an older version of the DVD, and I strongly advise anyone not to buy it if they have a newer DVD player. Read more
Published on January 11, 2007 by Nancy Pistorius
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is Home, Mama
I love it when I chance upon stuff and it turns out I struck gold. That is exactly what happened when I walked into the video store and rented this movie. Read more
Published on April 13, 2006 by S.A.I
2.0 out of 5 stars Ernest Had a Sister
Title for this movie could be "Ernest Had a Sister". The late Jim Varney (Ernest)has close competition from the McTeer character. Read more
Published on June 18, 2004 by dellyjoe
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