Phil Morrison’s Junebug so thoroughly immerses itself in down-home Southern culture (or must I now refer to it as Blue State culture?) that it manages to delicately avoid Hollywood’s typical condescending caricatures of those who dwell below the Mason-Dixon line. Chicago art gallery owner Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz) travels to North Carolina to woo a half-crazed painter obsessed with the Civil War, in the process making a pit-stop at husband George’s (Alessandro Nivola) family home, where his cold, conservative parents (Frank Hoyt Taylor and Celia Weston) and surly brother (The O.C.’s Benjamin McKenzie) do their damndest to make her feel like an outsider, and his pregnant sister-in-law Ashley (Amy Adams) welcomes her with enthusiastically open arms. Despite its familiar culture-clash skeleton and one moralizing third-act misstep, writer Angus MacLachlan’s story is less about the divide between urbanites and rural folk and more about the uneasily mended schisms that plague all families. A melancholic mood of disconnection permeates the film like the frost of a cool Autumn morning, its tone perfectly attuned to the sadness that hangs in the air of empty homes, landscapes and spaces between people. And yet Junebug ultimately exudes a bittersweet hope that reconciliation and harmony are, despite the sometimes-daunting odds, achievable – a reserved optimism channeled most forcefully by the magnificently expressive Adams as ditzy, needy, vibrant Ashley.