Redland (2009)
A family on the brink of starvation struggles for survival in Depression-era rural America. While the fervently spiritual patriarch of the family tries in vain to provide for his family, his daughter goes to extremes to hide an affair from him. Yet as their way of life erodes and they run out of money and food, the family's moral rectitude intensifies. One saving grace may be the beautiful forest that surrounds the family's homestead, providing a fairytale backdrop into which the family hopes it can escape. Yet this scenario isn't nearly that harmonious — this struggle is man vs. nature. Only after complete dissolution can the family be reborn.First-time director Asiel Norton's similar background to what is portrayed in the film provides a tone that makes Redland pure. The desolate American morality play is reminiscent of early John Sayles, with vivid characters bringing to life a fascinating history lesson. The characters succumb to the hallucinations of their hunger, both for food and for love. It all adds to Redland's dreamy style, which also features the most luscious widescreen cinematography you may see all year.