Thomas Wolfe's literary alter ego, George Webber, couldn't go home to fictional Old Catawba, North Carolina. The protagonist -- also named George -- created by first-time director Phil Morrison and screenwriter Angus MacLachlan has no better luck in the unnamed Carolina town where this tale of family friction and outsider drama unfolds. George Johnsten (Alessandro Nivola) has not only fled his tentacular middle-class family for the Yankee corruptions of Chicago; he's now returned to visit in the company of an overcivilized, foreign-born wife (Embeth Davidtz, late of Schindler's List). Resentments soon boil over -- especially in George's combustible younger brother (Ben McKenzie) and their sour, distrustful mother (Celia Weston). Combining the tragic and the comic, this drama is amateurish in places, but it's a triumph of atmosphere (the makers are both North Carolinians) and the acting is first-rate. Amy Adams runs off with the trophy as George's good-hearted but dopey sister-in-law, who's about to give birth to her first child.
Director: Phil Morrison
Writer: Angus MacLachlan
Producer: Mindy Goldberg and Mike S. Ryan
Cast: Amy Adams, Amy Barefoot, Matt Besser, Beth Bostic, Embeth Davidtz, Katherine Foster, R. Keith Harris, Victoria Jackson, Tarra Jolly and David Kuhn