John Munn (Dermot Mulroney), part-time taxidermist and hog farmer, lives with his two sons in an isolated farmhouse. Chris, the older boy (Jamie Bell), has itchy feet. He longs to see a world beyond the pig sty. His younger brother Tim (Devon Alan) is perpetually sick - in no small part due to eating paint, dirt and whatever else passes through his grubby hands. The three are soon joined by a fourth. John's brother Deel (Josh Lucas) has just left jail and arrives on the farm with nowhere to go. There's an air of danger about him, but brotherly love, or at least a sense of duty persuades John to take his sibling in. It's a fateful decision, and one that will change all their lives
This movie reminded me of Winter's Bone - the Americans do seem to like making movies about the poorest of the poor country hicks and hillbillies, esp in Apalachian or Cajun settings. Anyway, like Winter's Bone, criminality and murder get the plot going, and the acting and pace are good - Jamie Bell's decent American accent never falters either. The big problem for me with this film is that is simply could not believe the plot - and without wanting to give a spoiler here, I'll just say that I don't think people in poverty who have the opportunity to sell something to get out of poverty would pass at that chance. It's all about the symbolism, I suppose, and some codswallop about 'paying the ferryman'. I detect some nods to Silas Marner in this movie too. Having said that, it's more Watchable than Winter's Bone for sure - and the better film. Recommended.