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Review: 45365

Festival favorite documents the "real America"
By GERALD PEARY  |  September 16, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars


Bill and Turner Ross, brother filmmakers, now live in Los Angeles, but they returned to their home town of Sidney, Ohio, zip code 45635, for this gorgeous, impressive documentary portrait of daily life in a place Sarah Palin would embrace. What’s not to adore here for real Americans? A shirt-sleeved regular-joe mayor, an active 4-H Club, the high-school football team that everyone roots for, the town barbershop where everybody goes. Well, there’s also some other stuff, like a conflicted high-school girl fighting on her cell with her always-drunk boyfriend, and then Justin and his dad always doing something that sends them to jail. It’s all here, and the Ross brothers, more bemused than critical of the town’s follies, let us judge: is small-town America idyllic, or claustrophobic and creepy, or all of the above? The winner of the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW, 45365 is a beautiful film made in the mold of Frederick Wiseman and other grand masters of cinéma-vérité.

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