Four Sheets to the Wind

"Very Good"

Four Sheets to the Wind Review


A 2007 Sundance favorite that never found its way to a feature release, Four Sheets to the Wind deserves to be seen. As a no-budget, small-scale, deeply personal drama, it's a good example of a narrowcast indie effort that focuses hard on individual performances because it can't afford to do anything else.

The title hints at trouble with alcohol, and trouble there is. In fact, the story begins with 20-ish Cufe Smallhill, an Oklahoma Seminole-Cree, dragging the corpse of his father, who has committed suicide, to a pond for a quick and private underwater burial as the man requested. It's quite an image. (Later, with the help of his cousin, he puts watermelons in a coffin to weigh it down and conceal his actions from the friends who gather for the funeral.)

In the wake of that tragedy, and with the blessing of his not-too-surprised-to-be-widowed mother (Jeri Arredondo), Cufe decides to leave home for the first time and visit his older sister Miri (Tamara Podemski) up in Tulsa, where she has been struggling to build an independent life.

Once in the city, Cufe is dismayed to discover that Miri is a bit of a mess. While she does manage to hold down a job in a café, she's drinking heavily and seeks solace with a different guy every night. Cufe soon realizes that he probably won't find much of a new life here, and with nothing to look forward to back in his isolated hometown either, he's basically stuck with nowhere to go.

The only solace Cufe finds is in a budding romance with Miri's neighbor Francie (Laura Bailey), a young woman who treats him with the kind of deference and respect he's never experienced before. As their romance blooms, it's especially painful to watch Miri flailing alongside of them. Cufe may love his mother and sister, but will he ever be able to get from under them and find a path to a meaningful adult life? And with enough challenges of his own, will he be able to engineer reconciliation between the estranged mother and daughter?

While Cody Smallhill is great as the taciturn Cufe, it's Tamara Podemski who picked up a Sundance award for her performance and who is really worth watching. Miri's pain is written all over her face, and although she tries to mask it with humor and witty banter, it's easy to see how she's suffering. With Four Sheets to the Wind, writer/director Sterlin Harjo has done a lot with a little. It's too bad it didn't make it beyond the festival circuit, but that's what DVD players are for.

Now get those sheets sparkling white.



Four Sheets to the Wind

Facts and Figures

Run time: 81 mins

In Theaters: Monday 22nd January 2007

Distributed by: First Look Home Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 7

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Sterlin Harjo

Producer: Chad Burris, Ted Kroeber

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.