Down in the ValleyDecember 9, 2005
Set in the present-day San Fernando Valley, the project revolves around a delusional man who believes he's a cowboy and the relationship that he starts with a rebellious young woman.
Release Year: 2005
Rating: 6.5/10 (12,030 voted)
Critic's Score: 65/100
Stars: Edward Norton, Evan Rachel Wood, David Morse
Tobe is about 16, living with her dad and younger brother in LA's San Fernando Valley. She invites a gas station attendant named Harlan to come to the beach with her and her friends. He's from South Dakota, wears a cowboy hat, talks country, and has been a ranch hand. They have a great time, his simple expressions seem like wisdom, he's attentive and polite, and even though he's more than twice her age, she wants to spend time with him. When her father objects, she rebels. Harlan, meanwhile, thinks she's his soul mate, and he starts making plans to get her away from her father. Worlds are set to collide, but which ones?
Evan Rachel Wood
(as Cesar D. Flores)
Sometimes it's hard to find your way…
Release Date: 9 December 2005
Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $22,806
(7 May 2006)
(6 August 2006)
Did You Know?
The $8 million budget was financed by a wealthy producer-financier, Sam Nazarian of Element Films.
One of the revolvers in Wade's wall collection is actually a non-firing display model of the Colt Peacemaker. This is evidenced by the horizontal slots in the rear of the cylinder, between the cylinder's flutes. Real Peacemakers do not have such slots.
I've tried living down in the valley again, really tried this time. Walked up and down it looking for one open face, but most people I've meet hardly seem like human beings to me anymore.
Challenging and Rewarding
I had the opportunity to see this film at Cannes and then again at it's
'real' debut at the LA Film Festival. What a difference! Apparently the
filmmakers were anxious to get to Cannes and had not finished the
editing. Although I liked it before– this version really hits the spot
without the confusing extras that were still at Cannes. I'm glad I gave
it a second chance and in fact I'm now anxious to see it again when
it's released. The film is very layered and subtle. It is beautifully
shot and the four main characters are original and yet painfully
familiar in their alienation, anger, and despair. The Cowboy character
played by Edward Norton seems so simple at first but as he is drawn
into the family his character and the truth of his 'being' gradually
unravels in ways that left me speechless at the end of the film. The
character played by Rory Culkin, "Twig", says very little throughout
the film and yet he conveys a sense of yearning and loneliness almost
too painful to bare. But even he undergoes an unexpected transformation
by the end of the film. My favorite though, was Evan Rachel Wood. I
think she steals the show… without trying at all. Her emotions and
rebelliousness are raw and totally authentic. She is a luminous
creature on the screen. Her relationship with the Cowboy seemed
unlikely at first and then became completely believable, especially in
the bathtub scene. My main criticism is that the film is demanding. If
you're not in the mood to sink into a fairly deep experience with some
shocking moments and unpredictable outcomes–don't waste your time.
This is a film for lovers of independent film and psychological kinds
of cinema. There are also several scenes that border on surrealism. I'd
be interested to know more about the making of this film and look
forward to the DVD. I imagine this film may take awhile to be
discovered but it holds tremendous rewards for those patient and
thoughtful enough to venture into it.