Lester’s review published on Letterboxd:
There must be some outside forces trying to enhance the experience. I watched this by way of a DVD rip that had those wavy color lines that somehow added to this movie’s nostalgic vibe—love the amber color tint that dominates this film. Overall a really nice sweltering African-American Southern Gothic generational picture that patiently simmers, demanding a lot of emotional investment and rewarding the viewer by making sure all of it (mostly) pays off in its own subtle magical way. Has a lot to say about carrying the burden of inherited emotional trauma, teen angst, and memories as internalized constructs using swampy 60’s Louisiana as its backdrop.
Excellent cast too—Samuel L. Jackson in 1997 ditches the cryptkeeper look he was sporting in Jackie Brown and is the highlight of the ensemble for me, but Lynn Whitfield as Roz is a revelation in a pretty loaded cast.
The score really is fucking horrendous though and is a huge misfire on a very ambitious debut feature; the “melo” in “melodrama” is forced to do a lot of heavy lifting here and there were times where it completely took me out of what are otherwise powerful scenes. Kind of baffling to complement such a well written, well performed film with the kind of bombastic score you’d find in a third rate Lifetime movie.