I recently rented this movie because I'm a Mel Gibson fan, but before I did, I read over the review by Leonard Maltin on these pages and found that his comment "but Gibson's character is so coldly stubborn that it's hard to empathize" regarding the character Tom Garvey was pretty harsh.<br/><br/>This is not a man so stubborn you cannot empathize with him in the least. Harrison Ford's character in Mosquito Coast was such a man, but this guy is a good man trying to do what's right for himself and for his family and I didn't see him as cold either. Again, look to Mosquito Coast if you're looking for a father who's cold, TOO stubborn and unloving.<br/><br/>If you want to see a good movie about farmers facing adversity from the weather and from their "neighbors" this is a good one to rent. Justly nominated for cinematography, it's a very pretty movie, although I'd have liked to see it on the big screen to get the full effects of the river shots. Sissy Spacek was of course excellent as well.
Tom and Mae Garvey are a hard working farming couple living with their two children on the east Tennessee farm owned by Tom's family for generations. They and many of their neighbors have hit hard times of late. A downturn in the economy has led to dwindling land prices. But the biggest problem of late has been that their crop land has been prone to flooding as the property is adjacent to a river. Manipulating the powers that be including a local senator and the local bank, Joe Wade, who also grew up in the area and now runs the local milling company that sets the local grain prices, is working behind the scenes to buy up the properties along the river for a song as he wants to build a dam which would flood the Garvey's and others riverfront properties. The dam would generate electricity, but more importantly for Joe it would provide irrigation opportunities for farm properties away from the river, such as his own. Tom already intensely dislikes Joe as he and Mae used to go together. ...
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