The Journey of August King Movie Review
Such is the situation that Annalees (Thandie Newton) finds herself in, and when she runs into an unsuspecting and kind-hearted farmer, August King (Jason Patric), on his three-day trip home from the market, the two find a strange friendship that threatens to blossom into a forbidden love. (It's a good thing that nice guy King finds her, too, because she's not very good at this hiding business, running into King 3 times in the first 15 minutes of the movie, before he takes her in.)
Larry Drake plays the evil plantation lord who's after the fetching Annalees, and he's just one of the many who are against King. In fact, the whole world appears to be against him, as in the process of saving the slave girl from harm, he manages to lose virtually everything he owns.
As we ask ourselves if King has done the right thing and/or if he's insane, we are constantly asking ourselves these same questions, and it's this introspection that makes The Journey of August King such an enlightening film. Everything about King is period-perfect but also reminds us of our 1990s sensibilities. We all have these strange desires to "get involved" in any number of causes, but we almost always hold back.
While The Journey of August King has a lot going for it on the character side, the action is often little more than a series of "close calls." This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is predictable. And while the film is very well-crafted, it is unlikely to find a large audience due to its very serious themes (I laughed all of one time).
The leads are fabulous, especially Patric, who deserves special recognition for this fine piece of work, in the role of a man on a long physical journey which proves to be spiritual as well.
August: Nice guy, needs a shave.