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Sweet Virginia (2017)

I don't know whether you are aware of it, but there are a lot of girls, myself included, in the blogosphere who fangirl over an actor, Jon Bernthal. Obsessed is actually the word I was looking for. Anyway, that's how I discovered Sweet Virginia (and watched it as soon as I could because of my post-The Punisher abstinence) and, Bernthal lover or not, you have to watch this. 

In a small town, a mysterious man (Christopher Abbott) walks into a bar and kills three people. Turns out he is a hitman and, waiting to collect the payment, he checks into a motel run by Sam (Jon Bernthal), a former rodeo champion. They bond over their Virginia backgrounds and soon become friends. This friendship though is doomed to fail as Sam is romantically involved with Bernadette (Rosemarie DeWitt), the widow of one of the victims.

The plot is rather simple and thin and moves at a quite slow pace (the ending has a faster pace but it felt a little rushed), but it flows very well, it's got a lot of suspense and it's interesting enough to keep you engaged from start to finish. The whole murder plot is kinda pointless, to be honest, as the film mostly explores solitude, anonymity and pain - both physical and emotional.

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Anyway, the plot isn't a big deal since Sweet Virginia is more of a character-driven thriller. The characters aren't anything new nor special but they are well written (the women though could have used some development), especially Sam. While I would have loved more backstory about this character, I was still impressed with him. He's a devoted, kind-hearted, sweet man who is only a shadow of the man he used to be, a former bull rider with a shaky hand and limping hand. He's trying to be a father to a girl (played by Odessa Young) working at his motel while feeling guilty over his relationship with Bernadette. Jon Bernthal, best known as Shane from The Walking Dead and The Punisher from Netflix's series, gives a great performance in this against-type role and delivers a quite complex mix of emotions.

Equally good is the performance by Christopher Abbott who plays Elwood, the killer, a man always on the verge of violence, who is always about to explode and loves picking fights with those who give him a stink eye. The supporting cast doesn't have much to do because their characters are pretty thin. Rosemarie DeWitt though does a good job playing the victim.

This post first appeared on A Film A Day, please read the originial post: here

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Sweet Virginia (2017)


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