Seven Days in Utopia
G
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +3

Robert Duvall, Lucas Black, Melissa Leo, Deborah Ann Woll, Brian Geraghty. Drama. Written by Matthew Dean Russell, David L. Cook, Rob Levin. Directed by Matthew Dean Russell.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Seven Days in Utopia follows the story of Luke Chisolm (Lucas Black), a talented young golfer set on making the pro tour. When his first big shot turns out to be a very public disaster, Luke escapes the pressures of the game and finds himself unexpectedly stranded in Utopia, Texas, home to eccentric rancher Johnny Crawford (Robert Duvall). But Johnny's more than meets the eye, and his profound ways of looking at life force Luke to question not only his past choices, but his future direction. The film also stars Academy Award winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Deborah Ann Woll (HBO's True Blood) and Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker).

PREVIEW REVIEW: It’s not a great movie, like, say, Tender Mercies or To Kill a Mockingbird. The depth and precision of those filmmakers is not found in Utopia. But it is a good film – a very good film. First, the two leads, Robert Duvall and Lucas Black, give solid performances, never letting you catch them acting. They envelope their characters, and because they are likeable fellows, we easily overlook the perfunctory direction and other lackluster technical aspects of the movie.

Then there are the film’s subjects, which include a father/son allegory and directions for leading a successful life. In a year when cineplexes are overloaded with CGI superheroes and rude/crude rom/coms, Seven Days in Utopia is actually about something of substance. It captivates with an ethereal theory that suggests most accidents aren't really accidents. What's more, the plot purports a need for a Christ-centered life, its spiritual message subtly incorporated, but nonetheless unmistakable.

I also found it interesting that we have both Robert Duvall (Network, The Great Santini) and Melissa Leo (Supporting Oscar winner for The Fighter) starring in a G-rated movie. Not sure those stars will ever line up that way again, so we should appreciate the phenomenon. Come to think of it, I can’t remember another G-rated movie out so far this year, other than some animated children pleasers. What’s that say about moviemakers…and moviegoers?

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Visio Entertainment

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: A brief scuffle between two young men; a car crash, though not jolting. Small amount of blood from a car-crash wound.
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: None
Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Older kids and up

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