Red Wing (PG-13)

Drama 108 October 18, 2013
By Chris Packham
As it turns out, the novel François le Champi by George Sand apparently lends itself to American redneck revision. Red Wing is a rolling avalanche of depressing events that takes place somewhere in a rural American landscape where bankers are always foreclosing on the family farm, beloved dogs are being put down behind barns, and the night air is punctuated with the coconut-bonks of stolid patriarchs being kicked in the head by horses. And holy good night, are the people in this small town cruel to the only two characters who matter. Maddie (Breann Johnson) is the angelic wife of Carl, a mean, alcoholic rancher (Luke Perry). She becomes a foster mother to a knightly, magical orphan named Francis when his caretaker becomes too ill pay the rent, despite the twangy protestations of her husband that “he ain’t no kin of mine.” At 18, in the wake of creepy insinuations by Carl, Francis moves away and gets hired by Bill Paxton, a rancher who wears one of those mini business Stetsons all the men had on during the Lee Harvey Oswald prison transfer. He gives Francis a piece of land to farm, a cute daughter to romance and the option to build his own life, but Francis still feels pulled to Maddie. The film’s narrative klutziness is marked with shorthand characterizations, some unsavvy use of country pop, and a concluding voice-over by a minor character that cements both a heartwarming ending and the reassurance that all the creepy insinuations were true.
Will Wallace Bill Paxton, Frances Fisher, Luke Perry, Glen Powell, Joelle Carter, Will Wallace, Jaime Gallagher Kathleen Orillion Hammond Entertainment

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