Magazine article New Internationalist

Sunshine State: Written and Directed by John Sayles

Magazine article New Internationalist

Sunshine State: Written and Directed by John Sayles

Article excerpt

John Sayles' Florida is a magical place where developers swap mangrove forests for `nature on a leash'.

Two women, played by Edie Falco and Angela Bassett, return to their roots in a northern coastal Florida threatened by resort developers. The monologues which drive this classy ensemble piece are memorable, but the one-liners are souvenirs. Edie Falco's character Maryl is a tough cookie whose daddy `wouldn't sell if he had his nuts in a trash compacter'. His reticence frustrates real estate's `frontal assault' on her beachhead long enough for Maryl to have a dalliance with the idealistic architect of destruction played by Timothy Hutton.

Meanwhile, black residents raise a little token hell to delay being bulldozed from their beachfront.

Maryl's faux-mermaid philosophy is `keep that smile on your face, even when you're drowning' - but using wood from a burnt-down juke joint to build a coffin wins best metaphor in an inspired script written in blood and sea salt. …

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