BLUES FOR WILLADEAN is not a perfect film – far from it. However it’s got heart, it tells an important story that will resonate strongly with some, and it features amazing performances from three spectacular women that make a viewing worthwhile no matter what you think of the film as a whole. Beth Grant is a fantastic character actor known for her comedic appearances in such films as DONNIE DARKO, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and most recently on the television show, “The Mindy Project.” It’s incredibly rare to see Beth in a leading role, and a dramatic leading role to top things off. And it’s wonderful to see. Beth is a real talent, and she gets to show her stuff in this tough role for which she won all sorts of awards on stage. Backed by Octavia Spencer and Dale Dickey, this is one power trio that knows how to infuse a movie with heart and soul.
Willadean is the wife of a blue collar truck driver, who attempts to escape the abusive prison she is trapped in. She dreams of one day getting a job, supporting herself and reuniting with her son who has escaped to live his own life. Her neighbor and best friend LaSonia does what she can, but as is often the case with domestic abuse, it is difficult to interfere, but with her own experiences with domestic violence driving her, LaSonia can’t stand by and do nothing. Then there is new neighbor, Rayleen, who is the catalyst for Willadean’s final rebellion. The three women, as well as Willadean’s husband, J.D. portray the different aspects of abuse with chilling truth. But Shores wisely infuses the dark tale with plenty of humor, and it is those scenes of humor, that also show the women bonding, that are really powerful stuff.