Archives A - E      F - N    O - Z     Posters          Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

      BLU-RAY DVDs:
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
The Girl with Dragon Tattoo

Dark Knight Trilogy
Happy Feet Two
Tower Heist
Angels and Demons
The Rum Diary
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

Labelled with ICRA
We're Kidlet Safe

movie review query engine

Privacy Policy

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE


Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles



Starring Janet McTeer and Kimberly J. Brown
Screenplay by Gavin O'Connor and Angela Shelton, based on Shelton's book
Directed by Gavin O'Connor
website: www.tumbleweeds-movie.com

IN SHORT: Dynamite, full blooded acting. Great flick for the grownups. [Rated [PG-13], 100 minutes]

Unlike another flick in which mom and kidlet wind up in California, Gavin O'Connor and Angela Shelton's script for Tumbleweeds, based on Shelton's memoirs, has a lock on reality and enough supporting characters that you won't come to the automatic conclusion that every time you see a new face, something is going to radically change.

Mother Mary Jo Walker (Janet McTeer) and 12-year old daughter Ava (Kimberly J. Brown) live life as a road trip. An uneasy one. Mary Jo's been married four times, has a penchant for finding guys on the borderline of physically abusive and prefers to fight first and then run. The accent may be southern but the woman ain't trash. Ava is used to the cut and run lifestyle. She knows to pack once she hears dishes breaking. Picking the town of Starlight Beach, California out of a book the pair settle in to another new life. Ava meets new friends. Mary Jo learns about coffee enemas from Laurie Pendleton (Laurel Holliman), who works at the security company that Mary Jo lands a job with. Said company is run by a very weird dude (Michael J. Pollard), who'll one day take the count on a harrasment charge. The nice guy of the story also works at the security company. Dan (Jay O. Sanders) is the kind of guy that is always the perfect man, always perfectly overlooked.

Mary Jo's problem is that she shacked up with trucker Jack Ranson (Gavin O'Connor), who fixed her busted radiator hose once upon a time. Jack tries hard but, Mary Jo is set in her ways, dontcha know. Jack's conservative. Mary Jo is not. Ava keeps a bag close at hand but she's reaching the age where she's big enough that things like friends and boys and roots are just as important to her as they aren't to her mom.

Here's the joy of watching this film. All along the line, when Mary Jo sees guys, Ava knows to distract her mother by whatever means possible. This worked the first time they met Jack, but kidlets ain't allowed into California bars and that's where it all gets interesting. Tumbleweeds offers up a mother daughter relationship that feels authentic, supporting characters who actually belong in the story and have something more to do with the story than showing up at the right points to move it along. Dynamite performances from the Broadway pair of McTeer (a Best Actress Tony Award for A Dolls House back in 1997) and Brown (who played the young Collette in Les Mis. It's her face staring out of the poster, I'd bet...) are complemented by O'Connor's Dan, who teaches Ava all about Shakespeare with more than unexpected results.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Tumbleweeds, he would have paid...


Tumbleweeds just goes to show how much more enjoyable a mother-daughter story can be if the two stars aren't fighting it out for critical notice. Highly recommended

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is  Copyright © 1995  -  2013 by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.