Reviewer Jason Weiner: Virginia Minnesota is “just fantastic all the way around…”

Jason Wiener – March 8th, 2018

…Then I drove down to San Jose. Although I got lucky with the traffic, it’s not something I recommend doing during the festival. There is a convenient Caltrain station that will take you between San Jose Diridon and Redwood City in 30-50 minutes (depending on if it’s a bullet train or not.) The problem is that off-peak hours, it only comes by about once an hour. So if you time things right it’s easy, but if not you can be waiting for an hour for your train. Best bet to maximize your film-watching is simply pick one locale and stay there all day.

Anyway, I was lucky and it worked out. Not only was I there in plenty of time, I was there with enough time to spare to stop by the Maverick Meetup at Loft to have a couple of drinks before the next movie.

And that movie was VIRGINIA MINNESOTA. Lyle (Rachel Hendrix) is a traveler, living out of her car, writing a travel blog, talking to her only companion, a hitch-hiking robot suitcase named Mister. She grew up in the care of the Larsmont home for troubled girls, or girls from troubled families…I forget the actual name of the place. The important thing is she’s one of four girls who last lived there when the place shut down, and the old caregiver has passed away, and mentioned all of the girls in her will. But all four have to be there for the will to be read. And while two of the girls are already there, Addison (Aurora Perrineau) is stubbornly staying in her hometown of Gran Marais (which is a real town, along with Larsmont, along the Lake Superior coast of Minnesota. Well, Lyle has places to go, and can’t stay long, so she takes on the mission of finding Addison and dragging her back to Larsmont. Along the way they’ll have wacky adventures, but also dig up old childhood trauma. And it’s all imbued with this sense of magic realism around the local legends, like the Wendigo, or the Lake Superior Sea Panther, of the Viking who is still looking for his lost daughter. Just fantastic all the way around. Funny and touching, great acting (from very beautiful actresses,) surprises, absurdity, and a recovery of the sense of wonder. An excellent way to end the night.

Well, okay, I really ended the night with one more drink at the Loft. But still…