Movie Review: ‘STRANGE WEATHER’ rains on Holly Hunter’s otherwise great performance

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Kip Mooney // Film Critic

STRANGE WEATHER
Rated R, 92 minutes.
Director: Katherine Dieckmann
Cast: Holly HunterCarrie CoonKim Coates and Glenne Headly

Holly Hunter will eventually be remembered as one of the best American actresses to ever grace the big screen. She’s been incredible in movies as varied as RAISING ARIZONA, THE PIANO and this year’s THE BIG SICK. And she brings her A-game once again. Too bad it’s for the forgettable STRANGE WEATHER.

Hunter plays Darcy, one of those eccentric Southern women that Kathy Bates used to specialize in playing. She’s got serious issues but such a big heart that everyone in this small town loves her. Her son – the light of her life – has been gone for several years. He took his own life, but a chance encounter with an old friend of his sets her wheels in motion.

Darcy discovers another friend of her son’s has gone on to make name for himself in New Orleans, running a chain of restaurants with the exact same idea her son had before he died. So she and her best friend (Carrie Coon) load into her pickup to drive down and confront him.

Indie road trip dramedies are a dime a dozen now, and aside from Hunter’s performance, there’s not much to distinguish this one from so many others. Just like them, it meanders so it can pad out a movie that’s barely 90 minutes long. The characters are all thinly drawn, so there’s even less substance.

But its biggest problem is it never feels authentic. Sure, there’s a plot and an understandable emotional drive, but it never connected with me in a real way. It all felt like it was going through the motions. Cameo from a talented actress: Check. Emotional reconnection with a person from the character’s past: That too. A final confrontation that feels anticlimactic: You bet.

The only reason to sit through it is Hunter, as radiant as ever. But there’s a long list of great Hunter performances, and most of them are in better movies than this.

Grade: C

STRANGE WEATHER opens in theaters and VOD on Friday (7/28). Dallas: AMC Grapevine.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.