Junebug (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes


Junebug (2005)



Critic Consensus: Aided and abetted by a wonderful cast, director Phil Morrison transforms familiar material into an understated and resonant comedy.

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Movie Info

A dealer in outsider art threatens the equilibrium of her middle-class in-laws in North Carolina. Madeline is a go-getting art gallery owner from Chicago, recently married to George, a near-perfect Southern beau. When Madeline needs to close a deal with a reclusive North Carolina artist, George introduces her to his family: prickly mother Peg, taciturn father Eugene, cranky brother Johnny, and Johnny's pregnant, childlike wife Ashley, who is awe-struck by her glamorous sister-in-law. Madeline's presence exposes the fragile family dynamics as hidden resentments and anxieties surface.

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Embeth Davidtz
as Madeleine
Amy Adams
as Ashley
Beth Bostic
as Lucille
Joanne Pankow
as Sissy Wark
Laura Lashley
as Gallery Assistant
Annette Beatty
as Dr. Beatty
Matt Besser
as Scout who goes in
Jerry Minor
as Scout who stays outside
Jamie Castlebury
as Woman at shower
Jeffrey Dean Foster
as Gallery Assistant
Katherine Foster
as Pregnant Patient
Teresa Fowler
as Nurse No. 1
Victoria Jackson
as Nurse No. 2
Kevin Harlow Jasper
as Hollerin' Man
David Kuhn
as Auctioneer
John Eddie McGee
as Older Singer at Church
Dan McLamb
as Hollerin' Man
Will Oldham
as Bill Mooney
John A. Van Couvering
as Meerkat Expert
Gregory Wagner
as Young Singer at Church
Jill Wagner
as Millicent
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News & Interviews for Junebug

Critic Reviews for Junebug

All Critics (136) | Top Critics (42)

It could have been an exercise in "let's mock the provincials..." But the writer and the director (Angus McLachlan, Phil Morrison) are both from North Carolina, so each side in this meeting of opposites is both humanised and demonised.

October 6, 2018 | Full Review…

You can call Junebug an unwanted, but much needed homecoming, mostly celebrated by the hearty welcome of George's sister-in-law Ashley Johnsten, played by Amy Adams.

September 11, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

...one of many reasons to love Junebug is how often it offers us spaces to fill in ourselves, the faith it shows in handing us small puzzles -- Eugene's hand-carved bird, for instance -- to chuckle over or think on afterward.

November 30, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Delicately avoids Hollywood's typical condescending caricatures of those who dwell below the Mason-Dixon line.

March 22, 2006 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Junebug is the older, wiser sibling of home-for-the-holidays family melodramas like Pieces of April.

January 21, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A quiet journey into the heartland, and the heart.

September 23, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Junebug

There are many lovely things about this indie darling from screenwriter Angus MacLachlan and director Phil Morrison, and many little things that make it the obviously trying too hard quirky film everyone thinks it is. These little things amount to very little, as previously stated. It's mostly details, including the strange artist living in the middle of nowhere, painting slightly racist, obviously crazy paintings, and the strange and yet overt religious overtones. The anachronistic feeling of the film is lent to the setting for the film which is in the very rustic, Bible thumping South, complete with characters that are stuck in the past as well. Besides the family looking backwards to find their convictions, they're also far from the keen eye of outsiders. A family, (Wilson and Weston as the parents) seemingly separated from people outside of their community, await the birth of a new baby while lamenting the lost life of their son. He is married to his high school sweetheart, and remains repressed thanks to his own despair towards his own life. His brother, George, (Nivola) marries an extreme outsider, who does love the man, but resembles someone else entirely from themselves. The person who steals the entire show remains Amy Adams, and it's in the first couple of seconds onscreen that you understand why she was nominated for an Academy Award. The character of Ashley is bubbly, always trying too hard, and always wants the best for the future. Though her circumstances are inevitably going to get worse when her baby arrives, she believes that it will bring her and her husband together once more. It's definitely an actor's movie, and though Adams does steal the show, every single person in this film comes off genuine and interesting. Embeth Davidtz, who plays the main character, Madeleine, is very engaging if flawed, but she is also playing someone who is seemingly soft-hearted. It has some problems overall, but it's definitely worth watching, and it is strangely entertaining to see a family collapse without a leader.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

An urbanite couple returns to the South to visit one's family and pursue an artist. There are aspects of the South that this film captures that I've rarely seen expressed so clearly and accurately on film. The odd inferiority complex, which is the most prominent and elusive, the commitment to religion, the familial devotion, the silent father, the nosey neighbor, the verdant landscape, the meddling mother, the racist, loyal Confederate artist -- all of it is here and expressed in all its honorable integrity and ridiculousness. The film is an achievement on the level of Faulkner in this way, but it obviously lacks in others. Amy Adams's break-through performance is the film's highlight, and Adams is both charming and annoying. Her work embodies the film's embrasure of contradictions, which is why she fits so well with the rest of the strong ensemble. I think the film didn't fully get at the root of the family's dysfunction, as Super Reviewer Alice Shen pointed out, but I also think the film was caught betwixt and between on whether or not to judge these characters. Overall, Junebug is a fantastic addition to film's attempt to capture the South.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Fish out of water tale has college edujumakated art gallery manager goin ta meet up wit hubby's "at least we ain't got no fancy airs") downhome family ... and it's no bed of roses, that's for sure. And the unpleasantness happens just as our world traveller is trying to woo the South in the form of a blossoming curmudgeony outsider artist. Social observations via light (very light) comedy.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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