Rails & Ties
October 26, 2007
On the Big Board
||Why does Bacon have to keep doing these downers?
Clint Eastwood has been nominated four times for Best Director, winning twice. With movies such as Play Misty for Me, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Unforgiven, Mystic River, Bird and Million Dollar Baby on his resume, he has one of the finest track records of any movie maker in the industry's long and illustrious history. His presence behind the lens guarantees the quality of any production. The question then becomes whether the apple falls far from the tree. Daughter Alison Eastwood has acted in several of her father's movies, and some ten years ago, she found success on her own as the female lead in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. With Rails & Ties, she has finally chosen to follow in her father's footsteps by directing a Hollywood feature, and the early buzz is that she has made a movie that would make her poppa proud.
A solid group of thespians featuring Kevin Bacon and Academy Award winning actress Marcia Gay Harden have been cast in this dramatic tale of tragedy and makeshift family ties. Bacon portrays a train conductor named Tom Stark whose wife's protracted illness has stood in the way of their having children. His employment is jeopardized when a train he is driving runs over a parked car, thereby killing its passenger. This makes an orphan out of a boy named Davey, leaving him alone and full of bitter rage against the man who killed his mother. When Davey finally meets the man who unintentionally altered the fundamental nature of his life, his rage is counterbalanced by an immediate connection with Mrs. Stark. Over time, the trio begins to meld into a provisional family.
The nature of family, if done well, is always good for awards season attention. Recent examples of this are As Good As It Gets, Transamerica, and Little Miss Sunshine. It remains to be seen if Rails & Ties is on that level but given the industry's love for second generation success, Alison Eastwood appears poised to be the new Sofia Coppola. (David Mumpower/BOP)