Waterproof

Screenwriter Barry Berman (Benny & Joon) makes his directorial debut with this thoughtful tale of a prodigal daughter returning home to a southern hamlet. Tyree (April Grace) is a cabbie and single mother in Washington, D.C.; when her 11-year-old son gets roped into a holdup and shoots a Jewish store owner (Burt Reynolds), she seizes both of them and drives to Waterproof, Louisiana, to seek refuge with her God-fearing family. Berman, who also wrote the script, captures the languid tempo of life in a small southern town, meticulously pacing his story as the family members–and their unexpected guest–come to terms with their past. The film has its share of stylistic glitches, including some illogical crosscutting and a music-heavy sound track, but its ensemble acting more than compensates, especially Grace as the bitter but vulnerable cabbie and Reynolds as a lonely curmudgeon who gets a new lease on life. Berman will attend the screening; presented by the Black Harvest International Film and Video Festival. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, August 8, 8:00, 312-443-3737. –Ted Shen

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.