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Tumbleweeds

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

They ran away from everything but each other.

A vibrant, free-spirited southern woman and her bright, engaging 12-year-old daughter find themselves on a journey of self-discovery in Gavin O'Connor's Tumbleweeds. Winner of the Filmmaker's Trophy at Sundance Film Festival 1999, Tumbleweeds is funny, clear-eyed and deeply moving slice of life about two people whose love for each other gives them the strength to fight for their future.

Inspired by co-writer Angela Shelton's childhood memoirs, Tumbleweeds is an extraordinarily intimate portrait of the relationship between mother and child. As Mary Jo and Ava Walker, Janet McTeer and Kimberly J Brown have an uncanny rapport that transforms Mary Jo and Ava into real people, drawing viewers into their daily lives. In her first starring role in an American film, Tony award winner McTeer gives an electrifying performance that affirms her reputation as an artist of unparalleled talents. Tumbleweeds also introduces filmgoers to the gifted Brown, whose finely nuanced Ava marks the young actor, just into her teens, as one to watch.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Tumbleweeds image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film drama adventure mother daughter road trip Angel Shelton biography relationship

Persons of interest

  • Janet McTeer .... Mary Jo Walker
  • Kimberly J Brown .... Ava Walker
  • Jay O Sanders .... Dan Miller
  • Gavin O'Connor .... Jack Ranson
  • Laurel Holloman .... Laurie Pendleton
  • Lois Smith .... Ginger
  • Michael J Pollard .... Mr Cummings
  • Ashley Buccille .... Zoe Brussard
  • Cody McMains .... Adam Riley
  • Linda Porter .... Mrs Boman
  • Brian Tahash .... Winston Jackson
  • Josh Carmichael .... Billy Jo
  • Sara Downing .... Rachel Riley
  • Angela Shelton .... Storywriter
  • Angela Shelton .... Screenwriter
  • Gavin O'Connor .... Screenwriter
  • Gavin O'Connor .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

See Anywhere but here.

The difference between the two is that Anywhere but here has big stars and middle class values. Tumbleweeds has small stars and lower class values. White bread and brown bread. "Uptown girl, she's been living in my downtown world..."

Because of the lower socio-economic base of Tumbleweeds it has a much fruitier and juicier feel. The characters are more earthy, more emotional and more existential. Their lives are grittier, their dreams more elemental and their reality a whole lot more exciting. When you're trash going to a restaurant with a menu is a big deal.

*Shudders*

Janet McTeer is more convincing as the wild mother than Susan Sarandon because she has smaller aspirations. Everyone in the USA dreams of going to Hollywood (or New York) and having a new life. Mary Jo doesn't even have dreams that big: the next state will do fine for her. Janet has the eagerness of someone falling into an all too familiar trap which promises heaven but delivers only the earth. She's wild and trashy but with a sense of reponsibility. Kimberly J Brown has the same youthful ingenuity as Natalie Portman but manages to take it further because she isn't as pretty. Ava is a very plain, very average looking child whose light is hidden well and truly under a bushel.

Tumbleweeds is a good little drama with moments of lightness and humour and that touch of darkness which is normally missing from Hollywood fare, like a good chilli: tasty without burning the tongue.

Security censorship classification

M (Low level coarse language)

Surveillance time

102 minutes (1:42 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 28 March 2001

Cinema surveillance images

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