Advertisement
Oscar History
Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!

New Trailers

PROUD MARY
SHAPE OF WATER
THE SNOWMAN
PROFESSOR MARSTON
GREATEST SHOWMAN

 

 

Comment Fun

Comments Du Jour
Emmy Actress Roundtables

"I loved what Jessica Lange said that the choices you end up regretting are the projects you said yes to, rather than no to. Everyone seemed to agree in unison." - Aaron

"I love the part starting where Jessica and Elisabeth are bonding over their shared childhood love of acting without realising that it was acting!" -Aditya

 

What'cha Looking For?
Interviews

Emmanuelle Devos (Retrospective)
Nicholas Galitzine (Handsome Devil)
James Ivory (Maurice 4K Restoraton)
Betty Buckley (Split)

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500 Patron Saints!

IF YOU READ THE SITE DAILY, PLEASE BE ONE BY DONATING. 
Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Subscribe
« Doc Corner: 'Obit' | Main | OTD: Ella Fitzgerald, Al Pacino, "Ziegfeld Girl," and what's new on Blu-Ray and DVD »
Tuesday
Apr252017

Tribeca 2017: "Abundant Acreage Available"

Nathaniel R reporting from the Tribeca Film Festival

It's been 10 years since Amy Ryan broke through to "prestigious character actress" fame, whilst nabbing herself an Oscar nomination and critical hosannas for Gone Baby Gone (2017). In the years intervening, it's been fairly obvious that Hollywood didn't know what to do with her thereafter, often casting her in less than challenging roles as sympathetic wives (think Win Win or Bridge of Spies) or ex-wives (think Birdman). But she's finally no one's wife in the humble drama Abundant Acreage Available, and that lack of 'belonging to' is both writer/director Angus Maclachlan's (best known for the screenplay to the wonderful Junebug, 2005) and Ryan's own secret weapon, giving the movie its most appealing frictions...

Amy plays Tracy Ledbetter, one of two newly orphaned adults. She doesn't see eye to eye with her born again big brother Jesse (Terry Kinney) about the next step for the farm they grew up on. The gap between their future plans widens when they wake after burying their father, to find three complete strangers camping on their land. Jesse wants to sell the farm and retire and Tracy, untethered by anything but the farm, announces that she plans to die there. Tensions simmer (though never boil - it's a quiet drama, for better and worse) when the strange trio of old brothers refuse to leave.

The movie's most curious but successful element is a kind of forced match-making between Tracy and the youngest of the visiting brothers (Steve Coulter). Both adults have lived their whole lives serving others and have never appeared to have considered their own needs. Are they attracted to each other? The movie is as tentative as the characters here which leads to two superbly performed beats in Ryan's performance. The first is a moment of self-reflection as Tracy wonders aloud if she's a "cold" woman and then corrects herself with a minor edit "not warm." The second is an entirely internal split second switch from romantic fantasy to platonic sadness. To detail your character so well that we're certain we're watching spontaneous and atypical moments from a character we've only spent an hour with? That's some kind of acting feat.

 The chilly cinematography by Andrew Reed (Land Ho!) augments Ryan's character study with shots of the farm that aren't so much monochromatic (the great bane of modern cinema!) as crispily reluctant to display their color. It's no accident that the film takes place in the last days of fall and the sparse crop-free vistas only accentuate the winter of these modest lives. Tracy's flinty attachment to this place that couldn't look less nurturing if it tried, grants the movie a kind of stubborn solidity that belies its running time (80 minutes) and goes a long way in excusing its otherwise wispy narrative.

Abundant Acreage Available plays Tribeca tonight at 8:45 PM (4/25)

 

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (8)

This sounds so promising! Amy Ryan is a gem who deserves far more than what's been given her lately.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul B

Beautiful analysis of a performance. Go, Amy!!

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Writer of Junebug? Sold.

(Somehow I've never seen Gone Baby Gone, but I'll take it on faith that Amy Ryan is really as good as reported.)

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterlylee

lylee -- i personally thought she over did it in Gone Baby Gone but its indisputable that it elevated her career and she got rave reviews for it.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Ryan is great. People forget her work in the office and the wire. She tends to be understated with a lovely screen precede.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Amy Ryan is the most underrated actress working today. Hopefully she can get herself the big career surge it deserves.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJ

She always kills. She's one of our best character actresses. She should have been nominated for Birdman.

April 26, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Loved her since "the Wire", but can they do something about the title of the movie...

April 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLars

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>