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NORTHFORK

The inhabitants of a 1950's Montana town--many of them certifiably weird--must be evacuated before a man-made flood arrives, paving the way for a hydroelectric dam.

CAST: James Woods, Nick Nolte, Claire Forlani, Duel Farnes, Mark Polish, Daryl Hannah, Graham Beckel, Peter Coyote, Jon Gries, Anthony Edwards, Kyle MacLachlan, Robin Sachs, Ben Foster, Marshall Bell

DIRECTOR: Michael Polish

"At once credulous and coy, ‘Northfork’ refuses to mark the boundary between dream and reality…The actors, especially Mr. Woods and Mr. Nolte, convey a haggard sorrow, but the movie is emotionally hermetic, leaving us no way into the emotions of the characters. …There is nothing quite like this movie, and I'm not altogether sure there is much more to it than its lovely peculiarity. But at a moment when so many films strive to be obvious and interchangeable as possible, it is gratifying to find one that is puzzling, subtle and handmade." --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"There has never been a movie quite like ‘Northfork’…The movie is visionary and elegiac, more a fable than a story, and frame by frame, it looks like a portfolio of spaces so wide, so open, that men must wonder if they have a role beneath such indifferent skies…The town evokes the empty, lonely feeling you get when you make a last tour of a home you have just moved out of…‘Northfork’ is not an entertaining film so much as an entrancing one." --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"…a drearily pretentious allegory about the changing West in the post-WWII years…Whatever burning issues fueled the Polish brothers' surreal vision remains as inscrutable as the final episodes of David Lynch's ‘Twin Peaks.’ The difference is that Lynch is a bona fide artist worth our indulgence…The best thing about it is Nolte, playing the grizzled priest as an angel in his own right. Everyone else -- save the young boy playing the orphan -- seems to be in on a joke we just don't get." --Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

"The movie is as much a triumph of production design as any popcorn blockbuster -- and just as shallow on the inside…it takes a lot more than portent-laden intervals and deadpan line readings to make calculatingly banal dialogue and shaggy-dog set pieces feel like revelation. Whatever insight ‘Northfork’ dispenses comes across more like the jokes your grandfather would tell in lieu of real wisdom." --Gene Seymour, Newsday

"…an enigmatic yet seductive film that presents a challenge to the viewer even as it evokes a mystical feeling of transcendence… it also has in full measure the droll, deadpan humor that characterized the Polish brothers' first feature, ‘Twin Falls Idaho,’ in which the identical twin filmmakers played conjoined twins, one of whom wants to present the other with a beautiful hooker as a 25th birthday present…‘Northfork’ is an evocative piece of Americana, rich with feelings of loss and longing… a prairie folk tale expressing with hand-hewn charm and tenderness the possibility of an afterlife, or at the very least that there's always a lot more to life than meets the eye." --Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times

"Near-incomprehensible tapestry of Americana from the Polish brothers… Great-looking movie will confound or sedate many; it may also inspire a resolute few. Definitely not for the narrative-minded." --Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine

"… a surreal fable in which events surrounding a mid-century Montana town's dam-necessitated evacuation blur with the seraphic fever dreams of a sick orphan. This last of the Polish brothers' American heartland trilogy (including 1999's ‘Twin Falls Idaho’ and 2001's ‘Jackpot’) suffers from their trademark self-satisfaction, but as with ‘Idaho,’ a suffused empathy nearly makes up for the belaboring of key messages…unlike documentarian Travis Wilkerson's recent meditation on Butte's bloody history, ‘An Injury to One,’ ‘Northfork's’ overall ponderousness prevents it from becoming a transcendent fictive poem on the violent domestication of the West." --Laura Sinagra, The Village Voice

"Charlie’s Angels may have better out fits, but the heavenly creatures in Michael and Mark Polish's quirkily brilliant ‘Northfork’ look a lot more appealing to these blockbuster-bruised eyes…Strictly a love it-or-hate-it proposition, it requires viewers to work at a movie with a narrative that could support at least half a dozen interpretations…The Polishes pay homage to the Coen brothers, David Lynch, Wim Wenders, Michael Powell, Sergio Leone and films as varied as ‘Wild River’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ but in the end, ‘Northfork’ is their own remarkable love letter to the disappearance of the American frontier." --Lou Lumenick, The New York Post

"… a Dali-esque dreamscape where visual inventiveness and narrative incoherence combine to form a result that’s both entrancing and sleep-inducing…Fantastical and everyday images mingle casually in this bleak purgatory, with every movement and gesture an articulation of the ceaseless desire for salvation, freedom, hope, and comfort. However, whereas the film’s visuals strike a morose chord, the storytelling is frustratingly elliptical and pretentious, and the gravity with which the brothers imbue their modern-day fairy tale turns every performance into a study in affected inexpressiveness. Its chilly temperament is studied to the point of lifelessness, making it difficult to emotionally latch onto anything trapped in its ghostly frame." --Nicholas Schager, Slant Magzine

"It's an austerely beautiful, contemplative film that has too many ideas for its own good. Enough of those notions are interesting enough to compensate for the film's many meanderings into artsy cutesiness…See ‘Northfork' for its graceful visions, subversive humor and aching sense of longing. Forgive it its murkier spiritual proposals and tendency to view heaven, hell and the territory that connects them as fields of affected dreamers." –-Bob Strauss, L.A. Daily News