I'm writing this review because I thought that no one else had and that would have been a shame. After reading raves on this site about movies which are, at best, popcorn-fare (`Space Cowboys'?!? . . . yeah, I saw it . . . the theater was air-conditioned . . . what the hell), it would be a shame if this little gem stayed neglected.
Victor Nunez apparently knows how to make only one kind of movie. Those who are familiar with his better-known titles, `Ruby in Paradise' and `Ulee's Gold', will know what I mean. Like those two fine films, `A Flash of Green' is what is often called a `personal' movie, set in Nunez' native rural Florida and populated with ordinary people in recognizable situations. This is a story, which unfolds slowly, allowing us to catch the rhythms or its character's lives, involving us in their concerns. When the Ed Harris character is forced to confront an ethical choice, we are concerned for him because, by that point in the film, we know him as if we, too, are resident in that small town.
Sound boring? It's not. Any good screenwriter knows there's nothing as interesting as real life. `A Flash of Green' is not a documentary. It has its artifice, in the best sense of the word, with evocative images and sounds and wonderful performances from top to bottom. But it is the atmosphere, the feeling that I've been somewhere and met the people who live there, that stays with me most about this film. I can't describe too much of the plot. I only saw it once almost 15 years ago. But this isn't, foremost, a plot-driven movie anyway. There are no startling twists, memorable bits, catch-phrases, special effects or `money shots'. Just fine actors, good writing and a director accomplished enough to make us feel as if his characters' world is ours, too.
`A Flash of Green' is sweet, sad and best of all, absorbing filmmaking. Take the time to make the trip.
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