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Movie Review: Northfork

Alternate Title: Hell No, They Won't Go!

Story: The brother's, Mark and Michael Polish are an up and coming writing and directing team. Perhaps they have visions of becoming the next award winning Coen brothers. This third in their movie trilogy (Twin Falls, Idaho and Jackpot) borders on being a good film. But sadly, I cannot give this one a whooping and loud Howl. It suffers from too large a theme and inadequate storytelling.

It is the early 1950s in Northfork, Montana. This small town is about to be flooded to make way for more electrical power in the area. It is a dying town, with a handful of refuseniks, who won't budge. Getting them to leave the area is the job of six Government agent type guys (think Men in Black, without the shades). There is a lot of head scratching in the ensuing storytelling. There's fantasy, reality, and what they call Magic Realism thrown in the mix. Honestly, there were just too many stories without endings.

Technically it is a knock your socks off treat. The cinematography is haunting and the use of a washed out palette works very well to add to the idea of a dying town. The film gets bogged down in its artiness and I got bored.

However - if you like this type of technically arresting imagery check it out. I am sure there will be hardly anyone else in the theater.

Acting: A terrific cast but sadly the script does not enhance their performances. Nick Nolte was understated (I can't say that too often) as was James Wood. Daryl Hannah must have had some cosmetic surgery recently. She has surfaced in this film looking freakily like Liv Tyler. Anthony Edwards plays a strange character and should never have left ER.

Predilections: I liked Twin Falls, Idaho and of course, there was the Nick Nolte factor.

Critters: One fantasy animal whose head reminded me of Scooby Doo. There were also cattle, birds and lots of taxidermy heads mounted on walls.

Food: Cups of tea and broth.

Visual Art: The landscape of desolate Montana was enough for me. There was also lots of talk about art and technique.

Blatant Product Placement: Chevrolet and Ford.

Soundtrack: Interesting and supportive.

Opening Titles: Some beautiful Margaret Bourke-White photos.

Theater Audience: More people in the theater than were in Northfork.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 5

Squirm Scale: 0

Predictability Level: Not a clue what was going to happen but I also didn't care.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No.

Nit Picking: Someone needed to tell the brothers that stories need to be finished or tied together.

Big Screen or Rental: Neither. But - if you are looking for some Nick Nolte films you could try: The Good Thief, Nightwatch, Affliction, U Turn, Afterglow, Mother Night, Mulholland Falls, Jefferson in Paris, Lorenzo's Oil, The Prince of Tides, Q and A, Farewell to the King, New York Stories, Three Fugitives, Weeds, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Under Fire, 48 Hrs., Cannery Row, Heart Beat, North Dallas Forty, Who'll Stop the Rain and The Deep.

Length: 90 minutes