This sultry mix of crime drama and sex appeal captures the sound, the heat and the slow Southern drawl that is Louisiana. As Remy McSwain, Dennis Quaid delivers as a good old boy police lieutenant with a Cajun heart of gold. Ellen Barkin slinks around like a cat in heat whenever she’s around him. The rest of the time, Barkin is a district attorney investigating possible police involvement in a mobster’s murder. This film shows both the night spots and the backyards of Louisiana, and gives viewers an authentic sense of New Orleans.
"A Streetcar Named Desire."
In this exploration of the Louisiana countryside, Samuel L. Jackson plays the patriarch of the Batiste family. It’s 1962, and Dr. Louis Batiste has a beautiful wife, Roz (Lynn Whitfield) and two beloved daughters, Eve and Cisely. He also has a tendency to seduce his female patients. When his younger daughter observes him with a mistress, it sets of a chain of events that reveals a dark family history. Kasi Lemmons shows another side of the Louisiana lifestyle, life out in the bayous, where family history and dark secrets reside.
"When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts."
Spike Lee directs this multipart documentary about New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He blends astonishing footage of the actual storm, the resulting flooding and incredible accounts of survival. Then, the film goes deeper with an investigation into the Ninth Ward levees and the bumbling response of the Bush Administration, especially FEMA. Yet, the focus remains on the unique, perservering residents of the city and the admirable determination to hold Mardi Gras that make Louisiana such a unique culture.
Indie director John Sayles captures the many layers of conflict in the country of Louisiana of race, class, and country-versus-city in this thoughtful and funny character drama. Mary McDonnell plays a New York City actress, who returns to her family’s country home after a paralyzing accident. The spoiled, bitter star faces the change in her circumstances with a bottle of bourbon and a belligerent attitude towards a long line of hired help. Then, caregiver Chantelle (Alfre Woodard) takes the job and refuses to take the woman’s sour disposition. Though the storyline could easily sway into a Hallmark card, this movie's wise script and two fine actresses give this simple story a deep and humorous look at the human condition.