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The movie starts out slow, but the action in the middle is powerful, and the ending is a sucker punch to the gut. The characters are vivid and true. This is a haunting tale about loss, guilt, and redemption.
During the time when Joe was absent, Chrystal lives alone with her dog Precise in an isolated farm, and she occasionally offers herself sexually to the local boys. She's constantly haunted by the death of her son, and still angry at Joe when he came home. They no longer connect emotionally and sexually. At one point, Joe ask her," Am I still your husband?" She responded angrily and said,"If you just want my P****, just come and get it....". He's trying to seek her forgiveness and start over again, but the worst thing was that she can no longer have children.
The local marajuana dealer named Snake(Ray McKinnon, director and writer of this film) tried to persuade Joe to grow marajuana on his farm, but he declined, and things get nasty and physical between the two. Meanwhile, a travelling blind musicologist named Kalid is in town to gather research for his book, and becomes friend with Chrystal who used to be a good singer. This subplot allowed the film to feature many beautiful songs that resembles Songcatcher and some of the Bluegrass music featured in You Can Count On Me. Things gets even more ugly when Snake and his gang chased Chrystal and Kalid into the woods and want to gang rape her.Read more ›
I figured it must suck mightily, right? I almost passed on it entirely when I collected the new releases from Blockbuster this week, but I broke down and rented when I saw that it was rated R for, among other reasons, nudity. Best decision I've made in a long time.
The official publicity spin says, "Set in the Ozark mountains, Chrystal combines red-dirt realism with the fabulist Southern literary tradition - part Flannery O'Connor, part Johnny Cash - to tell a wild and haunting tale of the power of true love." I think this may represent the first time I've ever agreed with one of those official blurbs. That sentence sums it up beautifully.
Chrystal is a story about a man who made a great mistake when he was young. He landed in prison when his own criminal activity caused a car accident that killed his son and left his wife partly paralyzed. Returning to his Ozark home as a middle-aged man, he does his best to attain redemption, sometimes failing, but also succeeding in about equal measure.
Let me cut to the chase on this one and say that it is a helluva movie. Set among the improverished rurals of Arkansas, it manages to portray their lives with humanity and compassion, yet without condescension. Unlike most Hollywood movies, it manages to tell a central story that is heartbreaking without being phony or syrupy, and without resorting to obviously manipulative musical cues. The background stories are sometimes more interesting than the main plot, and can be very funny, because the unaffected characters react to events in natural ways. Here's an example.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Billy Bob knows how to tell a story. Although this one seems to be a hidden gem, it's every bit as good as Slingblade. In some ways it definitely has a better sense of humor.Published 1 month ago by D. E. Price
Depressing as all hell. Really made me feel good about my life decisions!Published 3 months ago by supebone411
Kind of strange movie. About a man who spends twenty years in prison and comes home hoping for some sort of redemption. Read morePublished 5 months ago by C.Wallace
Movies like this don't get the attention they deserve. This is top notch film making and acting. It's a shame people flock to the theater to see billion dollar movies, but don't... Read morePublished 5 months ago by westicles