Honeydripper (US, 2007)

The origins of rock 'n' roll

The origins of rock 'n' roll

John Sayles is a terrific independent filmmaker; by that I mean he’s a terrific filmmaker who works independently of the major studios, so his films are always worth watching, as is Honeydripper, though I wish it hadn’t been so predictable. Of course most movies are predictable but this too readily signposts where it’s going.

It concerns traditional bar owner, played very hangdog by Danny Glover, who’s going out of business because his competition has a jukebox. The film concerns his last ditch attempt to survive through the booking of Guitar Sam who, however, is hospitalised but a youngster’s… I’ll stop but it’s a film that’s almost impossible to ‘spoil’ with plot details.

The music’s great; the cinematography’s great – breathtaking beauty at the train station; the ending’s… I was a bit puzzled by Stacey Keach’s redneck sheriff (you know what he’s going to do) but there’s a threatening sexual undertone to what he says, about Glover’s wife’s cooking, that seems out of kilter with the rest of the film; maybe it’s just me.

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