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  Movie Review for Sunshine State

Movie Review for
Sunshine State



Sunshine State
Also known as: Gold Coast (John Sayles project)

72 Reviews total.

Release date: 6/21/2002
Run length: 141 mins.
Categories: Comedy , Drama

Summary: A comedy drama set in modern day Florida concerning two vibrant women who find themselves, after their big time dreams have not panned out, back in their small neighboring hometowns. Caught between their past and their future, both are struggling to find a way to become independent women in a place where everyone and everything seems to conspire to make them return to the roles of children under the rule of formidable parents. Mary Temple is living her father's dream of running a motel, only it has become her nightmare. Marly has given her career as an aquatic "Weeki Wachee Mermaid" and her marriage to Steve is over. In the next town over, Desiree Perry has returned to visit and show off her new anesthesiologist husband, Reggie. Sent away by her proud parents after she disgraced them by getting pregnant at 16, Desiree, like Marly, pursued a career in "show business." But instead of Broadway or movies, her appearances have been limited to industrials and infomercials. As both Marly and Desiree grapple with the sometimes overwhelming weight of family history and family expectations, and wrestle with questions of love, duty and responsibility, the tale offers a portrait of two women, two families, and two communities standing on the brink of change.

                         Reviews of Sunshine State

By
Brian Webster of Apollo Guide (7/0)
            Could have been much more than good, if only it didn’t seem so unfocused, and so many characters ...

By
Laura Bushell of BBC (7/0)
            A humane and moving film with real life values.

By
Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times (7/0)
            Because we are so familiar with the conventional approach to a story like this, it takes time to ...

By
Margaret A. McGurk of Cincinnati Enquirer (7/0)
            The dialogue is sharp and insightful, the cast is superb, the performances are rock-solid, the st...

By
Jeffrey M. Anderson of Combustible Celluloid (7/0)
            A movie that both feels and thinks. It's a must-see.

By
Harvey S. Karten of Compuserve (7/0)
            An effective, character-driven drama about real people facing real situations on an island in Flo...

                         Reviews of Sunshine State
By
Arthur Lazere of culturevulture.net (7/0)
            Rich in thoughtful ideas, but disappointingly uneven in dramatic power

By
Boo Allen of Denton Record Chronicle (TX) (7/0)
            John Sayles turns his sardonic gaze towards Florida in the latest from the country's number one i...

By
Jeffrey Bruner of Des Moines Register (7/0)
            The sand and soil provide merely the foundation for Sayles’ engrossing story about class and race...

By
Jeff Vice of Deseret News, Salt Lake City (7/0)
            As expected, Sayles' smart wordplay and clever plot contrivances are as sharp as ever, though the...

By
Adam Nayman of eye WEEKLY (7/0)
            A fiercely intelligent South Florida mosaic.

By
Eugene Novikov of Film Blather (7/0)
            [Sayles] so desperately wants to tell when all he needs to do is show.

                         Reviews of Sunshine State
By
Walter Chaw of Film Freak Central (7/0)
            Although ripe for an auteurist deconstruction, it falls short of the standard Sayles set for hims...

By
Erica Abeel of Film Journal International (7/0)
            While you could never fault Sayles for speedy exposition, the donkey-cart pace makes you want to ...

By
Jimmy O of Film Snobs (7/0)
            Thanks to John Sayles, audiences can rely on a director who understands time and place like no ot...

By
Norm Schrager of filmcritic.com (7/0)
            While Sunshine State lacks the searing urgency of City of Hope or the gentle dénouement of Lone S...

By
Brett Buckalew of FilmStew.com (7/0)
            Sunshine State certainly ranks as one of the director's richest, most satisfying films.

By
Rick Groen of Globe and Mail (7/0)
            Sunshine State has the structure, the theme, the style and, at 141 minutes, the length of a great...

                         Reviews of Sunshine State
By
Michael W. Phillips, Jr. of Goatdog's Movies (7/0)
            The shrillness of [Sayles's] more political films is gone, leaving a clear set of opinions but a ...

By
Eric Harrison of Houston Chronicle (7/0)
            Sayles' movies lack the fluidity and grace of Altman at his best, but his 'big statement' films -...

By
Steve Rhodes of Internet Reviews (7/0)
            Watching it is rather like an overlong visit from a large group of your relatives. As your relat...

By
Jim Slotek of Jam! Movies (7/0)
            Sunshine State is Sayles at his most Robert Altman-ish, purposefully juggling about a dozen narra...

By
Robert Roten of Laramie Movie Scope (7/0)
            Not all of the stories work and the ones that do are thin and scattered, but the film works well ...

By
Rene Rodriguez of Miami Herald (7/0)
            A movie that sends you out of the theater feeling like you've actually spent time living in anoth...

                         Reviews of Sunshine State
By
Duane Dudek of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (7/0)
            Successful as a simple series of intimate moments and vivid performances.

By
Marty Mapes of Movie Habit (7/0)
            With so much going on, it's hard to imagine any two people seeing the same movie

By
Kevin A. Ranson of MovieCrypt.com (7/0)
            John Sayles has crafted a bleak, not-so-happy view of what many parts of the sunshine state are r...

By
Elias Savada of Nitrate Online (7/0)
            One of the most original American productions this year, you'll find yourself remembering this re...

By
Jeffrey Westhoff of Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL) (7/0)
            Sayles’ pace is leisurely, but the characters and story keep us engrossed.

By
Frank Swietek of One Guy's Opinion (7/0)
            A distinguished and thoughtful film, marked by acute writing and a host of splendid performances.

                         Reviews of Sunshine State
By
Dennis Schwartz of Ozus' World Movie Reviews (7/0)
            It is an indelible epic American story about two families, one black and one white, facing change...

By
Jeanne Aufmuth of Palo Alto Weekly (7/0)
            Short on thrills but long on human commotion, "Sunshine" is vintage Sayles.

By
Jon Popick of Planet Sick-Boy (7/0)
            A dull, plodding, overly long drama that goes nowhere (unless around in circles counts as somewhe...

By
Jeet Thayil of Rediff.com (7/0)
            Edie Falco sparkles as a mermaid on dry land

By
David Nusair of Reel Film Reviews (7/0)
            ...as good as all the performances are, they just can't make up for the fact that it's just too d...

By
Pam Grady of Reel.com (7/0)
            Sayles' most satisfying work since Lone Star.

                         Reviews of Sunshine State
By
Laura Clifford of Reeling Reviews (7/0)
            ...Sayles repeats his formula in a faded Florida beach town with distinctly lesser returns

By
Betty Jo Tucker of ReelTalk Movie Reviews (7/0)
            Leave it to John Sayles to take on developers, the Chamber of Commerce, tourism, historical pagea...

By
James Berardinelli of ReelViews (7/0)
            Sunshine State lacks the brilliance of Sayles' most dynamic offerings, but, for those who don't m...

By
Jack Garner of Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (7/0)
            An often entertaining slice of life in the Florida sunshine -- and shadows.

By
Jim Lane of Sacramento News & Review (7/0)
            When Sayles is on top of his game he's not to be missed. Sunshine State is Sayles at his best.

By
Jim Judy of Screen It! (7/0)
            Nothing spectacular and not without its share of faults, the film works, for the most part, thank...

                         Reviews of Sunshine State
By
William Arnold of Seattle Post-Intelligencer (7/0)
            While most films these days are about nothing, this film seems to be about everything that's plag...

By
Ed Gonzalez of Slant Magazine (7/0)
            Sayles continues exactly where Faulkner left off, tackling the institutionalized racism that seet...

By
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat of Spirituality and Practice (7/0)
            One of the best films of the year...calls us to deepen and nourish our connections to family, com...

By
Rob Blackwelder of SPLICEDWire (7/0)
            Another utterly captivating John Sayles ensemble piece with an incredible sense of a particular p...

By
Gerry Shamray of Sun Newspapers of Cleveland (7/0)
            The story feels more like a serious read, filled with heavy doses of always enticing Sayles dialo...

By
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone of TheMovieChicks.com (7/0)
            Several plotlines with familial duty, greed and desperation as the central themes with a mix of s...

                         Reviews of Sunshine State
By
Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide's Movie Guide (7/0)
            Ramshackle, leisurely and crammed with fine actors given free rein to do what they do best.

By
Ian Waldron-Mantgani of UK Critic (7/0)
            Being a Sayles film, this has a way of looking at things with more patience and maturity than a p...

By
Urban Cinefile Critics of Urban Cinefile (7/0)
            Sunshine State lacks the kind of dynamic that Limbo offers, and in some ways is a rather indulgen...

By
Susan Granger of www.susangranger.com (7/0)
            John Sayles delves into dilemmas of love, duty and responsibility, along with family history and ...

By
Phil Villarreal of Arizona Daily Star (3/4) No reference
            Sayles has an eye for the ways people of different ethnicities talk to and about others outside t...

By
Sheri Linden of Boxoffice Magazine (3/4) No reference
            Exquisite performances and strong, atmospheric cinematography by Patrick Cady lift John Sayles' f...

                         Reviews of Sunshine State
By
Robert Denerstein of Denver Rocky Mountain News (3/4) No reference
            Sunshine State is an efficient helping of Sayles, insightful even when it's not richly entertaini...

By
Brent Simon of Entertainment Today (3/4) No reference
            Exquisitely acted and masterfully if preciously interwoven… [the film] addresses in a fascinating...

By
Marshall Fine of Journal News (Westchester, NY) (3/4) No reference
            Like the best novels and films, it is about human lives in transition, with individuals mirroring...

By
Loey Lockerby of Kansas City Star (3/4) No reference
            At its best, Sunshine State is vintage Sayles, full of richly drawn characters and witty dialogue...

By
Hazel-Dawn Dumpert of L.A. Weekly (3/4) No reference
            If Sayles had maneuvered these stories and performances into even a shade more sentimentality or ...

By
Bob Grimm of Las Vegas Mercury (3/4) No reference
            Edie Falco and Angela Bassett shine...a good, often funny film from Sayles.

                         Reviews of Sunshine State
By
Bob Strauss of Los Angeles Daily News (3/4) No reference
            Got some good, organic character work, lots of obvious political insights and little room for eng...

By
Nick Schager of Matinee Magazine (3/4) No reference
            Sayles ... once again strands his superb performers in the same old story.

By
Jonathan Foreman of New York Post (3/4) No reference
            Wonderfully acted but underedited ensemble piece.

By
John Anderson of Newsday (3/4) No reference
            With Sunshine State, the question isn't so much what you want, but what you can stand.

By
Shawn Levy of Oregonian (3/4) No reference
            It's ambitious, sharply observed and spectacularly well-acted like so much of Sayles' canon. But ...

By
Roger Moore of Orlando Sentinel (3/4) No reference
            This is geographic history as personal history, a look at a vanishing world before the tide of pr...

                         Reviews of Sunshine State
By
Joe Baltake of Sacramento Bee (3/4) No reference
            Sayles' approach to his material can be archly didactic, but then there's Bassett and especially ...

By
David Elliott of San Diego Union-Tribune (3/4) No reference
            You can agree with Sayles' questioning of land abuse, get-rich scams and weasel politics, and als...

By
John Hartl of Seattle Times (3/4) No reference
            The script overcomes its initial awkwardness and builds toward a climax that is as satisfying as ...

By
Jack Zink of South Florida Sun-Sentinel (3/4) No reference
            The average local news columnist has a bigger rant on the war between modern landscape architectu...

By
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) of St. Paul Pioneer Press (3/4) No reference
            [Sayles] often underlines his Big Themes ... and his camera is usually static, as if to say, 'Qui...

By
Josh Larsen of Sun Publications (Chicago, IL) (3/4) No reference
            ...Sayles continuously wrings stirring drama from everyday life.

Movie Distributors
Sony Pictures Classics

Production Companies
Green/Renzi Productions
Anarchist Convention

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