My Old Kentucky Home

        When I first heard of Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown, I was a little skeptical due to its content (primarily a love story). However, I was greatly surprised. I kind of actually questioned myself for doubting Cameron Crowe. Crowe has been known for vivid film making with important detail to character development, relationships, and plot moving music. And this film is no different.

        First, if one looks at his characters, one can see that Crowe accentuates the human qualities of individualism. He made this known by the character of Drew, a struggling young man trying to succeed in business yet also with his personal relationships. Orlando Bloom did a fine job in a "non-epic" role. Crowe also delivers a sensual, yet tough likeable character in Claire, portrayed by Kirsten Dunst. Despite these two main characters, the plot would not be the same without the involvement of secondhand characters such as Drew's cousin Jessie, the drummer of a broken up Skynard tribute band, as well as Drew's zany mother, played by Susan Sarandon. The characters were only one part of the equation, as the relationships were essential to the development of the movie.

        Bloom's character has had a long problem with relationships, not only with lovers but also with his family. Throughout the movie he is forced to reconcile these, among them his ex girlfriend, his cousin, and most importantly his dead father. Through this learning process about relationships, Drew meets Claire who turns his world upside down. From her, he learns the values of life that he had been missing, such as road trips, late night conversations, and overall love. By the end of the movie he resolves each relationship situation as well as builds a new love relationship with Claire.

        Yet the characters relationships and plot would be nothing without the music behind it. Adding to its southern flair, Crowe chose a mixture of folksy bluegrass to soft acoustic soul. He selected such classic artists such as Tom Petty, Lindsey Buckingham, and Elton John, who delivers the prime song in the movie My Father's Gun, directed in 2002 by Phil Tuckett. He also turns to contemporary artists, such as Ryan Adams, to deliver a more angry, raspy acoustic soul. Overall the music was moving and touching and by far the most important thematic element of Elizabethtown. Crowe has a gift for choosing songs for his movies, and I hope that he never loses it.

        So one can clearly see that my expectations were unfairly low because Elizabethtown was one of the best movies by far that I have seen this year. I have a newfound respect for Orlando Bloom for stepping out of his epic roles. Furthermore I have a stronger appreciation for the film styling of Cameron Crowe. Elizabethtown was filmed in Kentucky, so anyone from Kentucky needs to go see this film. Nevertheless even if you are not from the bluegrass state, go pick it up anyways.

Jonathan Holzapfel

Table of Contents