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Sunshine State

Sunshine State
February 21, 2020 - 7:30 pm

Sunshine State  (2002)

“They don’t realize how difficult it is to invent a tradition!” This exasperated sigh from Mary Steenburgen (just one from this incredible ensemble cast) so succinctly sums up the tension at the core of this multilayered, dense satire. Thwarted by a failed attempt to find untouched locations in small-town Florida for an adaptation of a short story, John Sayles turned his attention instead to a story about a simple Florida beach town that finds itself gradually displaced by encroaching corporate tourism. While Marly (Edie Falco) claims to be the most recent of “six generations on this sandpile,” men in suits trudge through shoreline palms to imagine the great developments to be erected, while a group of white, older golfers serve up commentary as a modern day Greek chorus. A film deeply entrenched in the anxieties of the first George W. Bush term that perfectly predicts today’s nationwide gentrification trends.   

35mm, color, 141 min. Director/screenwriter: John Sayles. Cast: Edie Falco, Timothy Hutton, Angela Bassett, James McDaniel, Mary Steenburgen.