Black Snake Moan is a redemption story starring a surprising good Samuel L. Jackson, a surprisingly blonde and slim Christina Ricci (it only seems like yesterday she was a slightly scary child…), and a surprisingly tearful JustinTimberlake.

The story begins with Jackson finding Ricci unconscious and badly beaten on the road outside his farm. He knows he can’t call the Sheriff without becoming a suspect, so he sets to healing her. The problem is, that Ricci has deeper problems than just a black eye and a bunch of half-nakedness.

As it happens, Jackson’s wife has just run off with his brother, so he’s also in need of a little healing. Ricci becomes a proxy for his own issues, and together they’ve got to figure out how to get by.

I shouldn’t be too harsh though. The story does have its failings, but generally it hangs together pretty well. For example, Jackson has a surprisingly good blues voice. Pity that some of the more ‘mystical’ scenes involving his singing are kind of cheesy. Tense, and slightly scary, but cheesy all the same.

I think the only thing that really annoyed me about the film was the abruptness of it all.

Jackson has Ricci chained to a radiator (!!), but he’s got the chains off because he trusts her within days. He’s just had ‘the final conversation’ with his wife, but is hooked up again in no time. And I could go on. It’s like all the timeframes in the film where weirdly compressed without regard to how long it actually takes for things like trust and friendship to build.

So, a mediocre response from me.

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