Bonneville (DVD)

Bonneville is a 2007 film that has finally made its way to DVD (after originally premiering at the 2006 iteration of the Toronto International Film Festival) , and stars Jessica Lange, Joan Allen, and Kathy Bates. Director Christopher Rowley has not had much experience at the time that Bonneville was shot, only being associated as a director for a 2002 film, “The Remembering Movies”. The film may be construed as a “chick flick” based on the fact that it focuses on a once in a lifetime journey that unties the three individuals from their lives and gives them one final chance to live.

The basic premise of the film is as follows: Arvilla Holden (Lange) is being kicked out of eir Pocatello, Idaho house by a cold-hearted daughter of eir recently-deceased husband. The will did not allow for Holden to receive any of eir husband’s property, and things are exacerbated further when the daughter (Francine, played by Christine Baranski) from the husband’s first marriage orders that eir ashes be given up by Holden. Plagued with all of these problems, Holden meets up with eir friend Margene Cunningham (Bates) and is picked up in the titular car by Carol Brim (Allen), where they set off for a trip to Santa Barbara. The individuals that the trio meet, such as the trucker (played by Tom Skerritt) that wines and dines Margene, and the hitchhiker (Victor Rasuk) that is looking for eir father, are realistic and believable character, and provide further twists and turns for the trio to undertake. While it is likely that individuals of the older set will be those that appreciate the movie fully, I can see anyone that just wishes to get away from it all appreciating what occurs during Bonneville.

The additional features that are present in the film are relatively scarce, only consisting of a “gag reel”, alternative and deleted scenes from the film, and a featurette that brings viewers behind the scenes of the film. The alternate and deleted scenes that are present are perhaps the most useful of these special features, and provide further context and different ways to conceive of the action that takes place during the film. I look forward to seeing more of Rowley’s work in the years to come. If you want to see three older women find themselves through a trip down the West Coast, Bonneville should be the next film that you pick up.

Rating: 7.0/10

Bonneville (DVD) / 2008 Fox / 93 Minutes / /

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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