13 May 2016 | gavin6942
While on a train, a teenage boy thinks about his life and the flamboyant aunt whose friendship acted as an emotional shield from his troubled family. This film evokes the haunting quality of memory while creating a heartfelt portrait of a boy's life in a rural 1940s Southern town.
Edward Guthmann said the film was poorly received when it premiered at Cannes, but called it "gorgeous" and "one of the year's most beautiful films." He said it was a rewarding film that requires a little faith from the viewer due to long, slow, "lingering shots that work as a kind of meditation." He described the revival meeting at night "like an Edward Hopper or Thomas Hart Benton painting come to life." I will grant the film that it looks beautiful, but it lacks a deeper substance which would be necessary to make this a great film.
Director Terence Davies said "The Neon Bible doesn't work, and that's entirely my fault. The only thing I can say is that it's a transition work. And I couldn't have done The House of Mirth without it." I appreciate that he is humble enough to admit this is not his best work. Again, the film looks brilliant, so it's far from a complete failure. And you have to respect the brave casting decision that brought Denis Leary, not known for his subtle acting, on board.