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The acting is astonishing, the writing superb, and the editing style, as well as juxtaposed music, riveting the whole way.
Brewer seems to be a master at getting his characters to have the right mix of both compassion and malice as they set forward on their paths toward redemption.
Only when Rae is left for dead at the side of the road and her savior comes from his farm to take her in does the reasoning for their actions finally start to become clear. Jackson is fantastic as the older bluesman farmer trying to reconcile his life with God and that of the flesh and the pain it has brought him.As for that chained girl, Christina Ricci really shines.I never really saw her as anything special, but this role is a true breakthrough for her.The editing between them was fluid and relevant rather than abruptly cutting before the scene felt finished with its purpose.Rae's boyfriend leaves for duty in the service and Laz's wife leaves him for his brother.