The year: 1815. The place: mountainous rural North Carolina. Unhappy widower Jason Patric is on his way home from an arduous trip to market. Runaway slave Thandie Newton is fleeing for her life, pursued by her monstrous owner, Larry Drake (in high Charles Laughton mode). Is the hero
bound to uphold the law by returning the escaped slave, or help a desperate young girl who has nowhere else to turn? This is a defiantly old-fashioned movie -- right is Right and wrong is Wrong, and characters are judged sternly. The story unfolds slowly against the sumptuously photographed
scenery, and Newton and Patric deliver fine, nuanced performances. But we can't help thinking tha...