Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 115 minutes
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Living in a small Texas town that has seen far better days, and caring for a sickly mother, young Cotton (Bailee Madison) nevertheless seems to always have a smile on her face. It’s a small enough town where everyone knows each other, and everyone has a history. As local businessman Morgan (Steve Eastin) is buying up property, and evicting those on property he already owns, small business owners like barkeep Ledball (Jonathan Banks) and roadside watercolor postcard stand artist Butch (Conrad Goode) find themselves as forgotten dust about to be swept under the rug of time.
As if the status quo wasn’t dramatic enough, Cotton’s estranged older sister Sunny (Laura Bell Bundy) returns to town after escaping to Hollywood years earlier. Hoping for some closure with her mother, with whom she had a falling out, Sunny arrives right on the heels of her mother’s death and is forced to take responsibility and custody of Cotton, lest Cotton be placed in foster care. Sunny agrees to care for her sister, and the two go about navigating the new waters of their life together, in a dying town, where Sunny’s past just won’t let her be. Luckily, Butch is there to help them both out.
Like the small town life that Watercolor Postcards depicts, the film is a leisurely paced tale spiked with extreme moments of drama amid the lulls. It’s a good-looking film, peopled with familiar faces (John C. McGinley plays one of Ledball’s regulars, and I could’ve sworn that was a D.B. Sweeney cameo near the end) and it hits all the dramatic notes one would expect, considering the way it plays out.
Which is the film’s strength and weakness, this familiarity. It’s a strength because, if you like this sort of film, a romantic drama about redemption and potential salvation, then it delivers on every beat you could ask for. There’s enough melodrama where it skirts the realm of overwrought in some instances, but for the most part plays out in a comfortable manner.
The weakness comes in if you’re someone who could take or leave a film like this. In that case, you’re not in for anything that is going to bring you over to the film’s side. It’s well-made and professionally polished across the board, but it doesn’t stand out as exceptional.
But it is a good film, and every role is performed by someone who is more than capable. The aforementioned McGinley tends to rule in practically everything he does, but young Bailee Madison shows that her acting chops are more than up to par too. Conrad Goode (who also wrote the film) is wonderful as Butch, as is Laura Bell Bundy as Sunny. Jonathan Banks’ Ledball is great, as is the Steve Eastin’s Morgan. There’s not a weak link in the cast, at any turn.
In the end, we’ve got a quality film more than competently made, and if you like romantic dramas with a taste of redemption, and closure, then Watercolor Postcards is a strong example of the genre. If you’re not too keen on these types of films, this one still won’t kill you, but it likely won’t convert you over to the cause. There’s a lot that goes right with this one; a skilled cinematic endeavor from start to finish.
This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.
Posted on December 4, 2013 in Reviews by Mark Bell
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