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NORTHFORK

Mark and Michael Polish, the brothers behind Twin Falls Idaho, continue their trajectory toward the weird with this film set in a Montana town in the 1950s thatís about to be turned into a lake in the name of progress. Northfork alternates awkwardly between mystical fantasy and stark realism as two seemingly separate stories develop. A sickly orphan searches out a group of earthbound angels in the hope of joining their flock; meanwhile the townsfolk flee to higher ground and the strangely forbidding evacuation committee visits the handful of holdouts. With deadpan humor, this trenchcoat-and-fedora crew, who exchange their services for lakefront property, attempt to persuade the stragglers, including a man who has built an ark, that they are the awaited sign from God. James Woods and Nick Nolte, as part of a large ensemble cast, turn in stoic but ultimately unmoving performances as a committee member and a local preacher. The film itself is often breathtaking, with a painterly quality that enhances the surreal elements of the plot, but the slow, cryptic story fails to live up to the standard set by the location settings and the majestic compositions. (94 minutes) At the Kendall Square.


Issue Date: July 18 - 24, 2003
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