Junebug The southern-fried Junebug could have been way too precious: the wide-eyed, nine-months-pregnant naïf (an incandescent Amy Adams), her sullen, chain-smoking mother-in-law (Celia Weston, who does… Junebug The southern-fried Junebug could have been way too precious: the wide-eyed, nine-months-pregnant naïf (an incandescent Amy Adams), her sullen, chain-smoking mother-in-law (Celia Weston, who does…
DVD Review

Junebug (2006)

SOUTHERN EXPOSURE Newlyweds Davidtz and Alessandro Nivola in ''Junebug''
Image credit: JUNEBUG: Robert Kirk
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE Newlyweds Davidtz and Alessandro Nivola in ''Junebug''
EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Jan 17, 2006; DVD Release Date: Jan 17, 2006; Movie Rated: R; Genre: Drama; With: Embeth Davidtz; Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

The southern-fried Junebug could have been way too precious: the wide-eyed, nine-months-pregnant naïf (an incandescent Amy Adams), her sullen, chain-smoking mother-in-law (Celia Weston, who does more with a stare than some actors do with a soliloquy), the quirky paintings obsessed with floating male genitalia (created for the film by Brooklyn artist Ann Wood). But director Phil Morrison finds drama in the downbeats, reveling in Chekhovian silences and transforming mundane moments — like the inflation of an air mattress — into exhilarating events.

EXTRAS An art gallery spotlights more than 30 works by Wood, and 10 deleted scenes offer additional insight into the motley crew of characters. (What were the girls gabbing about during the baby shower? OutKast, of course.) Casting sessions seem superfluous — we love Adams, but 14 minutes of her running the same lines over and over? — and a set of five behind-the-scenes mini-docs is skippable (''Meerkats Gone Wild'' is not nearly as Animal Kingdom as we'd hoped). Meanwhile, Adams and Embeth Davidtz's giggly commentary track manages to be both too much and not enough. Example: ''This was the day where my stomach started making noises.''

Originally posted Jan 13, 2006 Published in issue #859 Jan 20, 2006 Order article reprints