13 March 2010

In Country


United States - 1989
Director - Norman Jewison
Warner Home Video, 1990, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 56 minutes

 You may have noticed that I have a thing for Vietnam War films, in a different way than this guy perhaps, but it's there. For the most part this comes from my interest in history and that particular time period. I find the combination of social upheaval that went hand-in-glove with a gutwrenching challenge to the myth of American infallibility fascinating. One thing in particular is the way the country has reacted to and coped with those challenges since. One small aspect of that is Vietnam Veterans, and there was a small cottage industry of 'Nam Vet flicks that came out during the 80's and tried to address the issue of their return as such, to a changed culture. They were to say the least, put in a difficult position.
In Country is one of the better films in the category, partially because it is the story of a multigenerational coming to terms with Vietnam, but also because the subject is a southern family rather than the usual yankees. Emily Lloyd does a good job here, but the remarkable performance is turned in by Bruce Willis. This film left me convinced that the guy isn't just a hack. As with many of these films, this one is based on a novel, in this case of the same name by Bobbie Ann Mason.

Here's the stamp from Appleby Video, the rental store in Ontario that once upon a time stocked this tape.

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