Blues for Willadean

Blues for Willadean

Beth Grant and Octavia Spencer in BLUES FOR WILLADEAN, a film by Del Shores. Picture courtesy Kestrel Films. All rights reserved.

Blues for Willadean

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Blues for Willadean (2012)

Also Known As: The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife

Opened: 10/05/2012 Limited

Limited10/05/2012
NoHo 710/05/2012 - 10/11/20127 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Facebook

Genre: Drama

Rated: Unrated

Blues for Willadean explores the hidden emotions, shame, and secrecy of battered women, while also offering hope, healing and truth. A delicate blend of frightened humor and pain, it delves right into the heart of abuse from all sides -- the abuser, the abused, and the powerless bystander. It is the story of Willadean Winkler, the wife of a blue collar truck driver, as she attempts to escape the abusive prison he has built for her. With the help of her only friend, LaSonia, who lives in the trailer next door and the musical encouragement of the specter of a mystical Blues Singer, Willadean fights to break the cycle of the sick dance between the abuser and the abused.

Synopsis

Blues for Willadean is the film adaptation of Del Shores' 2003 play "The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife." It explores the hidden emotions, shame, and secrecy of battered women, while also offering hope, healing and truth. A delicate blend of frightened humor and pain, the three act play delves right into the heart of abuse. From the hysterical highs of side-splitting comedy Shores is known for, to the heart-rending depths of drama at its most human, the story sweeps the emotional spectrum. Shores draws the audience into the fire, allowing them to laugh one minute and cry the next as they experience the emotions revealed from all sides -- the abuser, the abused, and the powerless bystander.

Beth Grant stars as "Willadean Winkler" a mother of two children who is trapped in a loveless marriage with "J.D. Winkler" (David Steen), a blue collar truck driver who is lost in a drunken haze of unachieved adolescent dreams of athletic glory. He blames Willi for his lack of success, the death of their "wild" daughter and turning their banished son gay. He controls her money, her friends and her actions through the often realized threat of physical violence.

Set in Mesquite, Texas, they live in a trailer park next to Willi's best and only friend, "LaSonia" (Octavia Spencer), a lively character filled with much needed comic relief, wisdom and hope. Willi and LaSonia spend the afternoons watching Oprah, Jerry Springer and Judge Judy. Willi takes up Dr. Phil's philosophy that, "what you believe you can achieve," and in defiance of J.D. gets herself a secret job as a greeter at the Super Mart to give her life a much needed purpose.

Across the way the park's newest resident, five-times married cocktail waitress "Rayleen Hobbs" (Dale Dickey), storms into their lives in her little camper shell. The tragically funny Rayleen has gotten a job at the local watering hole where she meets J.D. drinking the evening away before he heads home to criticize Willi for anything and everything she does.

The characters are brilliantly strung together, with the help of a sultry, intuitive "Blues Singer" (Debby Holiday) who encourages Willi through music to push for something more than the life J.D. allows for her. Explosive one-sided arguments filled with pain, lost dreams and anger erupt and build over time as Shores reveals the dangerous dance between the abused and the abuser they love and hate, until one disastrous night it goes too far and the lives of those in the trailer park will never the same.

 

Trailer