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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 (45 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 (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RFAK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,416 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tumbleweeds" on IMDb

Special Features

  • DVD-ROM Content

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.

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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the road again May 1, 2001
By Becca
Imagine living life without a home. Moving from one state to another, Ava Walker, along with her mother, Mary Jo, had no real home. Louisiana, West Virginia, Tennessee and many more states were all stops along the way for this mother-daughter duo. Mary Jo had a problem with the way she was treated by men. Instead of being mature after a breakup occurred, she would flee and set out on yet another adventure. Their real journey began after Mary Jo's fourth failed marriage. Repeating their pattern, they picked up their belongings and set out for a new state and a new life. Living their lives as tumbleweeds on an empty highway, Mary Jo and Ava Walker wandered aimlessly looking for the perfect life. Throughout their search for a permanent home, these two women shared a special bond consisting of highs and lows. Recognized by critics as a top film, Tumbleweeds proves to be one of the best films explaining the relationship of a mother and a daughter because of its realistic approach which shows both sides of the relationship and by following the range of emotions that occur between a mother and her daughter. Although this film was independently funded it still acclaimed praise by critics everywhere. It was recognized as a work of art by being nominated by such organizations as the Academy, the Golden Globes, the Chicago Film Critics, the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Committee and the Screen Actor`s Guild. These days, it is not often that a film created with under $100,000 would be so critically acclaimed by such distinguished organizations. Along with being recognized as a masterpiece, Tumbleweeds has succeeded because of the film's realism. Movies today often glamorize relationships, making everything seem flawless instead of portraying the truth. Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hackneyed drama buoyed by dynamite performances August 29, 2000
In `Tumbleweeds' we're back on the road again with yet another single mother and her disgruntled offspring as they search for love and stability in places unknown and settings unfamiliar. Following in the footsteps of `Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore,' `Mermaids,' `This Boy's Life' and countless other films of that ilk, `Tumbleweeds' rarely strays from the tried-and-true narrative formula of the genre, yet thanks to two superb performances by its lead actresses and a quality of naturalism in its writing and directing, the film manages to be at least perpetually watchable if not exactly compelling.
The film starts off with a harrowing scene of domestic violence that neatly defines the tenor of Mary Jo Walker's life and character. Fatally attracted to abusive losers, Mary Jo decides to pick up and leave her current no-good boyfriend and head out with her daughter, Ava, to erase the past and start life afresh. We discover that this is indeed the pattern of her life and her daughter, driven into rootlessness as a result, seethes with a resentment that flairs up periodically in outbursts of rage and anger. Finally settling on San Diego as their new Eden, the two wayfarers attempt to settle in and begin a new life for themselves. However, lifelong patterns die hard and Mary Jo is soon shacking up with yet another time bomb in the form of a trucker she has met earlier on the road, much as the ever-wise Ava predicted. Waiting in the wings, of course, is the one man who could truly make Mary Jo happy - the paragon of male sensitivity who works right there in the office with her - if only she could see past the sexual energy of the brutish scum that so invariably attract her.
`Tumbleweeds' pretty much does what it can, saddled as it is with such a derivative concept.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars and she loved it!
I watched this with my 11 year old granddaughter, and she loved it!! She said "I wish my mom could be like her mom!!" A delightful coming of age movie for young girl!!
Published 2 months ago by K. Hudson
5.0 out of 5 stars love this movie
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. Read more
Published 3 months ago by sunnymountain
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 11 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 17 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 18 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 18 months ago by dtokarz
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 20 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 21 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent McTeer makes TUMBLEWEEDS What it is!
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... Read more
Published on December 14, 2007 by KerrLines
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