Stray Dogs

Local filmmaker Catherine Crouch shows considerable craft and sensitivity in this debut feature, adapted from Julie Jensen's play, about a love triangle on a ramshackle farm in Appalachia. A sultry pregnant woman (Guinevere Turner of Go Fish), fed up with her hotheaded husband (Bill Sage), bonds with her burly sister-in-law (Dot-Marie Jones). In the stage version the wife falls for a brother-in-law, yet Crouch's lesbian twist subtly alters the psychodynamics, providing a new angle on the familiar southern-gothic elements (purple prose, biblical quotes, cruelty to dogs, etc). The drama is nicely paced, and though the film was shot mostly in Stockton, Illinois, it captures the drowsy feel of the hill country. 95 min.

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