Main Cast : Rutger Hauer - Reuben “Ruby” Bean
Martha Plimpton - Earlene Pomerleau
Kelly Lynch - Roberta Bean
Patrick McGaw - Beal Bean
James Gervasi - Pa Bean
Ariana Lamon-Anderson - Bonnie Loo
Richard Sanders - Lee Pomerleau
Susanna Burney - Merry Merry
Todd Moore - Pete
Screenplay: Bill Phillips from the novel by Carolyn Chute
Awards and Nominations:
1995 - Independent Spirit Award Nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Female.
Plot: The patriarch of the family, Reuben “Ruby” Bean is sent to jail for out-of-season deer hunting. His family is very poor, but proud and they stand close together to struggle against their lot. Without Reuben’s keeping them together, little by little, the family breaks up. Each member goes toward his own fate : they have children, they run away, they get lost or killed. When Reuben, after having served his time, comes back home, he discovers his family is now only composed by his daughter-in-law and her child and he decides to begin their lives anew, starting from scratch.
Rutger appears only at the beginning and the end of this film, and especially the final scenes are so touching that it’s really worth to wait for them.
I like a lot of things to be going on in the shot. I like the audience to have to do a bit of work. I like to play around with the middle of the story. Everything is usually so very focused in film, and I love to unfocus it a little to break the code. I like the edge, for the reason that you don’t want to create a habit out of it. You can play with the timing, for instance, so you put the audience on the wrong foot and then people get smarter – not all of them, but some of them. And maybe so do I. I wish. I hope. As far as the violence which emanates from Ruby Bean is concerned, I think it’s very primitive and very dumb and very dangerous. It’s part of the wilderness that you have inside of you – that some people have, and they haven’t given it a name yet.
Martha Plimpton is wonderful. It was such an unlikely role for her with a lot of traps, and she didn’t go into any of them. She won’t go around the corner to reach her audience, not with any tricks, certainly. She is beautiful, I love her. She has a sort of “clarity”, which comes from mystery, art, gut. There’s a certain order that sort of falls out of people, rather than something which they hold together. It belongs to the talent. I don’t know, but I know when it’s there. Martha Plimpton, Miranda Richardson, Diane Keaton. They all possess a rare clarity. It’s really wonderful. Nastassja Kinski has it too, but it’s wild in her.