Following the Second World War, a northern cannery combine negotiates for the purchase of a large tract of uncultivated Georgia farmland. The major portion of the land is owned by Julie Ann Warren and has already been optioned by her unscrupulous, draft dodging husband, Henry. Now the combine must also obtain two smaller plots – one owned by Henry’s cousin Rad McDowell, a combat veteran with a wife and family; the other by Reeve Scott, a young black man whose mother had been Julie’s childhood Mammy. But neither Rad nor Reeve is interested in selling and they form an unprecedented black and white partnership to improve their land. Although infuriated by the turn of events, Henry remains determined to push through the big land deal. And when Reeve’s mother Rose dies, Henry tries to persuade his wife to charge Reeve with illegal ownership of his property, confident the the bigoted Judge Purcell will rule against a Negro.
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In tiny Colewell, Pennsylvania, the residents gather at the post office for mail and gossip, while the days pass quiet and serene. That is until news comes that the office is to close, and beloved clerk Nora (a marvelous Karen Allen) is left to fight for her job and reflect on the choices she has made that kept her in Colewell for so many years. Touching, with a hint of melancholy, Tom Quinn’s eloquent film is an ode to small-town life and the quiet emotions that come with nostalgia and memories of the past. As fears arise around her future and her past becomes ever more present, Nora states, “I don’t want to be lonely,” but what that means is elusive. Colewell gorgeously captures rural America, while giving space to the beauty of time passing and reflecting on what determines a life well lived.
Nolan Mack, a soft-spoken bank employee, undoubtedly loves his wife Joy, though their cavernous empty house only underscores how disconnected they’ve always been from each other. Nolan finds himself drifting from his familiar present-day life in pursuit of lost time after meeting a troubled young man named Leo on his drive home. What begins as an aimless drive down an unfamiliar street turns into a life-altering series of events.
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