This one isn’t a Stupendous Blockbuster, it’s on a more human scale
- The was based on the novel, “Where the Crawdads Sing,” which sold 7 million copies
- It’s about a strange tale of a girl raised alone in the swamps of the South
- When she is older, she becomes entangled in a murder investigation
- Produced by Reese Witherspoon, it’s rated PG-13
- Read more...
Where the Crawdads Sing
We have a change of pace this week. After several weeks of Stupendous Blockbuster movies, we have an offering on a more human scale. Delia Owens, a PhD., Zoologist, and author hit the public's nerve with her novel "Where the Crawdads Sing." Her book sold seven million copies. Movie producer and book maven Reese Witherspoon brought the story to the big screen.
The book and now the movie tells a strange tale of a girl raised in the swamps of the South, but not by mud-bug-eating mutant Red Necks but alone. She raised herself. As a young woman, she becomes entangled in a murder investigation.
The book gathered praise for the descriptive narration, unusual story, and the satisfying mystery swirling around the murder investigation.
Scriptwriter Lucy Alibar has a short sheet for feature film screenplays but with remarkable success. She penned the enormously successful film "Beasts of the Southern Wild," adapted from her stage play "Juicy and Delicious." (The subject of this story is unclear from either title. It describes the lingering death of the author's father.)
Director Olivia Newman has only one other full-length film, "First Match." It won an award and went to Netflix.
Daisy Edgar-Jones plays the swamp-raised woman. Taylor John Smith has the leading male role. These are competent young actors. We can hope to see more of them. Veteran actor David Strathairn is the only familiar face in the movie.
Edgar-Jones and Smith come from the world of TV, but I bet we see more of them on the big screen. Smith is a big guy with a strong screen presence. He plays the suitor here with magnificent restraint. He courts the young woman with the careful tentativeness one would use with any wild creature.
Garret Dillahunt plays the brutal, neglectful, drunken father but gets too little screen time to shine.
A friend who read the book and watched the film declared her satisfaction with translating from print to screen, something we do not always experience.
Delia Owens, the author of the book, is a trained naturalist. She brings that attention to detail to the descriptions of the marsh and the things in it. Cinematographer Polly Morgan, a vastly experienced filmmaker, brings this attention to the film so subtly that we enjoy it without being overwhelmed.
I will leave the resolution of the mystery to those who watch the film.
"Where the Crawdads Sing" runs for two hours and six minutes. This decidedly off-center film will attract the millions of fans of the novel and those adults looking for something more interesting than dinosaurs or space ships. The producers allowed the PG-13-rated film a $24 million budget.
This well-crafted film gets three and a half sawblades.