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Sweet Virginia (2017)

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A former rodeo champ befriends a young man with a propensity for violence.

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Sam
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Elwood
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Lila
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Bernadette
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Paul Anderson
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Maggie
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Marty Petrowne
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Tom Barrett
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Prostitute
Cameron Hilts ...
Man
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Lloyd Stothers
Jason Groves ...
Paramedic #1
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Storyline

A former rodeo star, with a small time life, unknowingly starts a rapport with a young man who is responsible for the violence that has suddenly gripped his small town. Every character from his loved ones to his business patrons, plays a part in the unravelling of this community. Our aged hero must face his relationships of past and present to come up against this unpredictable predator.

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Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, some strong sexuality, language, and drug use | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

21 April 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Смерть на Аляске  »

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The China Brothers original spec script for Sweet Virginia was high on the Black List in 2012 - an annual list of the best screenplays in Hollywood yet to be produced. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very good Americana neo-noir
27 June 2017 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

In a small-town Alaska, a triple murder is committed one night. The professional hit-man responsible has been hired by a local woman to wipe out her husband but two other men are killed in the process. The killer sets up stall in a motel run by a former rodeo star.

The title Sweet Virginia refers to an earlier draft of the film set in the American south involving a cowboy killer and all the rest of it. Moving the setting further north to Alaska gives the film a different edge, although it does render the title less meaningful. Its director is Jamie M. Dagg recently made the Laos set chase film River (2015) which was good, if a little minimalistic, but with Sweet Virginia he definitely shows progress as a film-maker. This one is a little more expansive in approach with more detailed characters and plot. You could probably fairly say that there is nothing especially new here but it is held together with some good performances such as Jon Bernthal as the motel owner who is not your typical hero in that he takes a beating when you don't expect him to and generally is quite meek in direct contrast to how he looks, even better was Christopher Abbott in the role of the killer who embarks in a bromance of sorts with Bernthal's character, Abbott's portrayal carried an authentic threat and you really believed his character was capable of violence. Imogen Poots doesn't get as much screen-time as the two male leads but her character is perhaps the key to the whole story in that it is her decisions that set the wheels in motion and continue to propel the narrative into the abyss. It's a pretty satisfying film overall and will be of interest to those with a taste for American neo-noirs.


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