Tumbleweeds

1999

Comedy / Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 65%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 3466

mother daughter relationship single mother san diego, california

Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
September 01, 2022 at 12:04 PM

Director

Top cast

Janet McTeer as Mary Jo Walker
Lois Smith as Ginger
Noah Emmerich as Vertis Dewey
Kimberly J. Brown as Ava Walker
720p.WEB
941.79 MB
1280*718
English 2.0
PG-13
23.976 fps
1 hr 42 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by philip_vanderveken 7 / 10

Some very fine performances and a story that isn't too corny make this an enjoyable movie

I must admit that I didn't really look forward to this movie. I mean, a movie with a story about a mother and daughter on the run for an abusive husband, is there a bigger cliché in the history of Hollywood? I really don't think so. This is the stuff bad TV-movies, which have only one intention and that is to make the average housewife cry her eyes out, are made of. I only gave it a try because I didn't have much better to do and was only thinking about watching the first 15 minutes, just in order to be sure that it was one of the many. But guess what, I finished it. That already says it all, but for those who are interested, I'll also explain why I liked it.

Every time her relationship fails, Mary Jo Walker runs from town to town and from state to state with her 12 year old daughter. And every time she promises herself and her daughter that everything will be different this time. Now she will look for a decent man who will love them forever. They decide to go to San Diego. But before they get there, their car breaks down and they need the help of a trucker to fix it. Mom immediately sees a new candidate husband in him, but her daughter already sees what is about to happen. He's the same kind of guy as always, mom will fall in love again and tell that this one is different, but will end up running from him like she has always done. And indeed, that's the way it happens, but this time Ava, doesn't want to leave anymore. She has made friends at school and will soon act in a school play...

Even though this movie was rather predictable and far from original, I admit that I had a good time watching it. The story isn't the reason why I liked it so much, although it could have been a lot worse. The fact that Ava wasn't the 'cute and lovely' kid who will bring her mother on the right track again by organizing a romantic date with a great man sure had a lot to do with the fact that I still enjoyed the story. But in the end it's still the acting that really did it for me. Janet McTeer was really excellent as the runaway mom and together with Kimberly J. Brown, who played Ava, she formed an excellent team.

Overall this is a nice movie that sure is a lot better than what I expected. Yes, I even liked it and no I'm not a middle-aged housewife. It just wasn't too corny and had some very fine performances to offer. That's also the reason why I give this movie a rating in between 7/10 and 7.5/10.

Reviewed by moonspinner55 6 / 10

The film's upbeat nature may strike some as false, yet the giddy handling in general is persuasive...

British actress Janet McTeer gives a convincing, first-rate performance as a Southern woman and man-lover who can't find a good guy to love. She and her preteen daughter drive from one state to the next, lighting in a motel room somewhere until a local romance blooms--and then high-tailing out of town when it predictably blows up. Soon after arriving in Southern California, McTeer's Mary Jo Walker finds a decent job, begins making friends, and sees her daughter excelling in school for the first time; however, a new relationship with a sexy but volatile trucker may put everything on the rocks. What starts out as a generic road movie--with hints of "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" besides--becomes an absorbing, intimate character portrait. McTeer (who resembles Laurie Metcalf) isn't your typical tramp or "lover of life"; she isn't unstable, and she's a good mother, but what she's trying so hard to get (a husband and a real home) doesn't always respond to her in kind. We see Mary Jo trying her damnedest to make her life work, eventually falling into familiar patterns but this time learning from her mistakes. The finale is rose-colored and probably not credible, but the optimistic nature of Gavin O'Connor's screenplay (co-written with Angela Shelton), as well as his perceptive direction, makes the journey a fun, embraceable ride. **1/2 from ****

Reviewed by SKG-2 9 / 10

Familiar tale told well

In "Join Together," the Who sang, "It's the singer, not the song/That makes the music move along," and that can be true of certain kinds of movies as well. TUMBLEWEEDS is surely not the first mother/daughter film ever made, even this year. I haven't seen ANYWHERE BUT HERE yet(though the novel it was based on is quite good), but TUMBLEWEEDS distinguishes itself from the crowd by its attention to detail and character, and the performances. Director/co-writer(with ex-wife Angela Shelton) Gavin O'Connor makes San Diego come alive, from the office Mary Jo(Janet McTeer) works in, to the beach, and the small houses she and her daughter Ava(Kimberly Brown) end up living in. And except for perhaps Mary Jo's boss(well-played by Michael J. Pollard), who is a caricature(albeit a funny one), every character here is well drawn. Even Jack(O'Connor), the trucker Mary Jo ends up with in San Diego who later turns bad, is well-drawn; we're never meant to see him as completely bad, though he does have his darker side.

But the real reason to see this is the performances of the two leads. McTeer and Brown are fresh faces to movie audiences, which means they have no image to distract us from the story, but it also means they bring nothing we know from them to the part, so they have to start fresh. And they respond with wonderful and realistic performances. McTeer doesn't turn Mary Jo into the stereotype of an oversexed woman or the insufferably noble mother but as a woman who wants to do right but isn't always sure how. And Brown doesn't make Ava overly cute or precocious, but a recognizable kid who nevertheless has to be the adult at times. The two of them also have a terrific bond together as well, and like a character late in the film they meet, O'Connor the director knows enough not to intrude on that.

One last note; some comments have dismissed this entirely because it's familiar. Are you the same people who will gladly see a hundred SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE clones or THE MATRIX clones and not complain about them being familiar? As I said at the top, sometimes the telling can distinguish a familiar tale.

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