I've seen this film twice, at Sundance and at the AFI Fest in Los
Angeles. To my mind one sign of a great film is how long it sticks with
you. From the beautifully filmed tragic opening to the touching ending,
Chrystal is truly memorable. I still chuckle as I remember certain
lines and the nuances of the characters.
The acting is superb. Lisa Blount as Chrystal gives a complex and
multi-layered performance. And the characters inhabiting the world in
which she lives are all deftly drawn. It's refreshing to see this world
of the Ozarks, painted in all it's realistic colors, through the music,
the cinematography, and of course the people.
It is also important to see a film that addresses the issue of chronic
pain, and the bravery and endurance it takes to live with that pain.
We all deserve more films like this, filled with pathos, humor, music
and more. Chrystal is a joy..
This is an interesting southern Gothic film with great character development and fine performances by all.
I liked this film for many reasons and on many differing levels.
Actually I am always impressed when an actor in a film is also the
director. In this case, Ray McKinnon performs both jobs admirably. When
he is on screen, he drives the film and when he is not, one is looking
forward to his electric and wildly out of control return! Ray's real
life buddy Walter Coggins shines as well. He is as spineless and oily
as they come and he becomes the character quite well.
Finally, the young Colin Fickes also stands out with a great comedic
performance. (I hope to see more of him soon!) And Billy Bob? He is his
normal professional self - it is just that these others shine so bright
that Billy Bob doesn't stand out as one might expect in this world of
(for now) lesser names. No shame to him - this is a film not a solo
performance! This is an off beat, southern Gothic tale that no one will
be sad to have gone to see. It takes its place in the world of
independent fare and holds it well. All involved should be proud and I
look forward to the future work of this great team..