Thou Wast Mild and Lovely
Director Josephine Decker's highly-acclaimed second feature unfolds with the lyricism and inexorable sense of tragedy of an ancient Appalachian murder ballad. Indie icon Joe Swanberg delivers a beautifully understated performance as Akin, a soft-spoken farmworker who takes a summer job working for the belligerent, domineering Jeremiah, who lives in incestuous isolation with his daughter. Sophie Traub's performance as the daughter, Sarah, has the sun-dappled quality of one of Andrew Wyeth's Helga paintings. Decker's vision of "Paradise Lost", dew clinging to a spider's web, the insistent hum of insects, a young girl writhing on the grass, is unforgettably poetic and seems to echo down from ages past.