USA | 95 MINUTES | English | (No Subtitles) subtitles
A burglary-homicide rattles the residents of a small Alaska town, in particular two women made widows by the crime and their mutual friend, Sam, the proprietor of the local motor lodge. Sam is an outsider himself, a former rodeo champ all too happy to leave the jolt and violence of the ring behind. So when his guests prove unruly or a stranger reaches out to him, reluctance is his natural response. Secrets are revealed, violence increases, and the people in town act more unhinged. His hesitancy — and his willingness to move past it — becomes the lynchpin for his survival.
Jon Bernthal, Rosemarie DeWitt, Imogen Poots, and a spectacular Christopher Abbott star in this gritty neo-Western with echoes of the early Coen Brothers in its intermingling of setting and criminal descent. Yet director Jamie M. Dagg showcases in his sophomore feature a unique directorial signature: a deliberate, contemplative rhythm that perfectly matches the watchful sensibilities of his characters. Adding able support from Jessica Lee Gagné’s cinematography and the Blair Brothers’ atmospheric score, Sweet Virginia becomes a haunting drama about the predator in each of us, and the prices we pay to start over.