Junebug (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Junebug poster.jpg
theatrical film poster
Directed byPhil Morrison
Produced byMindy Goldberg
Daniel Rappaport
Written byAngus MacLachlan
StarringEmbeth Davidtz
Amy Adams
Ben McKenzie
Celia Weston
Alessandro Nivola
Scott Wilson
Music byYo La Tengo
CinematographyPeter Donahue
Edited byJoe Klotz
Distributed bySony Pictures Classics
Release date
  • August 5, 2005 (2005-08-05)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1 million
Box office$3.4 million[1]

Junebug is a 2005 American comedy-drama film directed by Phil Morrison. Amy Adams received an Academy Award nomination for her supporting role in the film.


When art dealer Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz) travels from Chicago to North Carolina to pursue a local, self-taught painter (Frank Hoyt Taylor) for her outsider art gallery, she takes the opportunity to meet and stay with the family of her new husband George (Alessandro Nivola), who live close by.

There is his mother Peg (Celia Weston); his reserved, contemplative father Eugene (Scott Wilson); and his sullen, resentful, twenty-ish brother Johnny (Ben McKenzie) who, although married, lives at home. He is studying for his high school equivalency certificate while working at Replacements, Ltd. as an order processor. Johnny married his now pregnant wife Ashley (Amy Adams) before either of them finished high school. Relations between Johnny and Ashley are strained, with Ashley believing that a baby will solve their marital problems.

Madeleine and George stay in the expected baby's nursery, and Madeleine becomes friends with Ashley, who is very sweet and friendly, if somewhat naive and talkative. The family takes Madeleine to a church social, where George is asked to sing a hymn. Madeleine is not used to intense religious displays but makes no comment. She attends Ashley's baby shower and gives her sister-in-law an antique silver spoon, which stands out from the other gifts. Madeleine discovers that she does not know much about George, as they have been married only six months and knew each other only a week before they got married.

The artist Madeleine is pursuing wavers over signing with her gallery. Ashley goes into labor, and the family goes to the hospital with her. Madeleine chooses to go and convince the artist to sign with her gallery, which briefly makes George angry. Madeleine calls George to rave about the artist (she is impressed with his work, but shocked by his anti-semitism) without asking about the baby. George interrupts her and informs her that Ashley's baby boy is stillborn, which causes Madeleine to double over with guilt. The artist and his sister drive Madeleine back to her in-laws' home, and she later sits with Eugene on the back porch and cries. Meanwhile, George supports Ashley at the hospital, who expresses that George is always there when Ashley needs him. George kisses Ashley on the forehead and leaves. George comes home and has a wordless encounter in the garage with his brother, Johnny, who throws a tool at him, injuring his forehead. George does nothing in response.

The next day, George and Madeleine prepare to leave. Johnny calls Ashley and suggests that they "try again," to which Ashley excitedly squeals. As George and Madeleine drive onto the highway and pick up speed, George remarks, "I'm so glad we're out of there" as Madeleine caresses George's neck with her left hand.



Junebug was well received among critics. Junebug has an approval rating of 86% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 136 reviews, and an average rating of 7.54/10. The website's critical consensus states, "Aided and abetted by a wonderful cast, director Phil Morrison transforms familiar material into an understated and resonant comedy".[2] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 80 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[3]

Roger Ebert gave the film four stars and praised it as "a movie that understands, profoundly and with love and sadness, the world of small towns; it captures ways of talking and living I remember from my childhood, with the complexity and precision of great fiction".[4] Tim Robey of The Daily Telegraph labeled the film a "rare treat" and a "small, quiet miracle".[5] There was particular praise for Amy Adams, who went on to earn her first of six Academy Award nominations. It was premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, where Adams won a special jury prize.[6]

Score and soundtrack[edit]

Though much of the movie is free of background music, its score is made up of original music by Yo La Tengo, as well as classical music by Haydn, Shostakovich, Schubert and Vivaldi.[7] The film begins and ends with the 1977 song "Harmour Love" performed by Syreeta Wright and written by Stevie Wonder. During a scene where most of the characters are at a church social, George and two young men are featured singing the hymn "Softly and Tenderly, Jesus Is Calling" by Will Lamartine Thompson.[citation needed]

No official soundtrack has been released of the film.[citation needed] As a result, Syreeta's album One to One (which contains the song "Harmour Love") has since experienced a resurgence of sales.[citation needed] Yo La Tengo have released some of the original music in a compilation of their work on soundtracks They Shoot, We Score.[8]

Home media[edit]

The DVD was released on January 17, 2006, by Sony Pictures Entertainment which includes:[9]

  1. 10 deleted scenes
  2. Cast audio commentary with Embeth Davidtz and Amy Adams
  3. Outsider Art Photo Gallery
  4. French subtitles
  5. Behind-the-scenes featurettes
  6. Casting sessions


Year Award ceremony Category Nominee Result
2006 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress Amy Adams Nominated
Amanda Awards Best Film Nominated
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards Breakthrough Film Artist Amy Adams Won
Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
Gotham Independent Film Awards Breakthrough Actor/Actress Won
Breakthrough Director Phil Morrison Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Actress Amy Adams Won
Best First Screenplay Angus MacLachlan Nominated
Piaget Producer Award Mike S. Ryan Nominated
National Society of Film Critics Best Supporting Actress Amy Adams Won
Online Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress Nominated
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actress Won
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Acting Won
Directing Award Phil Morrison Nominated


  1. ^ «Junebug» Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes Junebug".
  3. ^ "Metacritic Junebug".
  4. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Junebug". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  5. ^ Robey, Tim (April 14, 2006). "A small, quiet miracle". The Daily Telegraph.
  6. ^ Moore, John (February 4, 2006). ""Junebug" role takes flight". The Denver Post. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  7. ^ Junebug - Soundtracks
  8. ^ Yo La Tengo Shop
  9. ^ IMDb: DVD details

External links[edit]