Northfork | Chicago Reader

Northfork

Stark, mysterious, and often weirdly funny, this magical realist tale by Mark and Michael Polish (Jackpot, Twin Falls Idaho) follows a handful of federal agents in charcoal black overcoats as they tour the godforsaken town of Northfork, Montana, trying to evacuate the last few diehards before a hydroelectric project submerges them under tons of water. At the same time a delirious young boy, left in the care of a grizzled preacher by his feckless foster parents, dreams of visiting a strange family who believe him to be one of God's own angels. James Woods gives a humane, sardonic performance as one of the starched government men, who has to relocate his wife's remains before they become flotsam, and Nick Nolte is equally imposing as the compassionate preacher. The arid landscapes sometimes reminded me of De Chirico, but the film owes its distinctive look to a palette of desaturated color that leaves even the Campbell's soup cans white and gray. PG-13, 94 min.

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