— by CHERRY BELL DAMASCO-FARRINGTON —
All across America, we see the decline of businesses and the rise of struggling families who depend on those businesses to strive and support their families. In “Main Street,” a high school student dreams of getting out of the “small town life” and moving on to bigger and better opportunities. A wealthy family sees their business slowly withering away to almost nothing over the years and must find a financial means to sustain itself. A high school love, lost along the way hoping to be rekindled in adulthood. A stranger who comes to town with promises of rebuilding all that was once lost and to help overcome the adversity that the town is faced with.
The cast list includes:
Orlando Bloom — best known for his roles in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy as Legolas the Wood Elf and the first three films of “The Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise as Will Turner — is the local town sheriff Harris Parker. He finds himself torn between the decisions to leave his small town for more opportunities in a larger city with his love interest, Mary Saunders. I like that Orlando Bloom is diversifying his repertoire of films and seeing him different types of films is refreshing (although I do prefer him more as Legolas than a policeman).
Amber Tamblyn — who I know best for her role in the two “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” films — plays Mary, a high school love lost who we find caught in an affair with her boss (played by Andrew McCarthy). This is more of an adult role for Tamblyn and it lets us see the more grown up version of her.
Now Colin Firth — an Academy Award winner for his role in “The King’s Speech” — is Gus Leroy, an out-of-town businessman who comes to Durham with promises of hope to revive the dying town. He propositions Georgiana Carr (played by Ellen Burstyn, another Academy Award winner) to lease her family’s empty warehouse in downtown Durham to help in her finances.
Patricia Clarkson — an Academy Award Nominee for her role in “Pieces of April” — is Georgiana’s niece, Willa, who is cautious about the new stranger in town. She tries to ensure that he does not swindle her great aunt in these dealings.
With a cast of this quality, I expect a lot from this film right out of the gate. I expect stellar performances and gripping scenes that will make my heart ache for the characters at their hardest times and burst of happiness during the lighter ones. However, we all know that Colin Firth and Orlando Bloom are both British actors, and this film calls for an American accent. The director has decided to go for more of a Southern twang and my question is: Will Firth and Bloom’s accents be believable for their parts? Have they done a well enough job for the audience to sit through the film to not be distracted by the Southern drawl that they have practiced? Was it extremely necessary for each of the characters to have that Southern pitch?
I live in the “South” and not all Southerners have that drawl. I’m not quite sure about it all. Perhaps Firth and Bloom will surprise me and do such a splendid job that I will forgive their twang and enjoy the film as much as if they were speaking it in their native English accents. This small town drama — written by renowned Academy Award-winning screenwriter Horton Foote (“To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Tender Mercies”) and shot fully in the southern community of Durham, N.C., — gives us exactly these elements in as indie drama. Foote creates intricate layers in his story and each character has a story to tell. Each has a decision to make but, at times, may conflict with what is the right thing to do for them and what is the right thing to do for their town.
According to the closing tag line of the trailer:
- A city after all is just a collection of houses and buildings, hopes and dreams that depend on the determination of fate of its residents. The future can be fearful or full of promise. It’s all in how you see it.”
– Colin Firth as Gus Leroy
The film has a limited release starting Sept. 9.
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Nice, I live not far from Durham and had completely forgotten about this movie being filmed there until now. I might have to check this one out!