By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
from directors/screenwriters Scott McGehee and David Siegel
("What Maisie Knew") is a quiet, heartwarming, and powerful indie drama that centers on family, forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing.
Set against the beautiful mountains of Big Sky Country, in Paradise Valley Montana, "Montana Story" stars Haley Lu Richardson (TV's "Jane the Virgin") and Owen Teague ("It: Chapter 2") as half-siblings who have moved away from their father's Montana ranch, but are forced to return home when they learn their dad has suffered a stroke and is in a coma.
Surprisingly, neither Erin (Richardson) or Cal (Teague) seem too terribly distraught by their father's plight. They don't even seem happy to see each other after being apart for nearly seven years. That's because they've both been permanently scarred by their abusive, father, especially Erin who suffered the most from his attacks. Cal has felt his share of anguish too for not stepping in trying to protect his sister.
Erin tried to escape from it all and was living in New York City completely out of touch with her family.
Their father is cared for by a sympathetic Kenyan nurse named Ace (Gilbert Owuor, "No Man of God") and the ranch is also overseen a few days a week by their family housekeeper Valentina (Kimberly Guerrero, "Reservation Dogs").
There is a part of Cal and Erin that would like for their father to maybe just slip away with hopes it would erase all their painful memories of being with him.
For Erin, the only happy times she had growing up were those spent with her favorite horse Mr. T. Now, Cal wants to do the unthinkable and put the animal down because it’s old and arthritic. However, Erin, insists on taking Mr. T back with her to upstate New York and that's straining their relationship even more.
In addition, the ranch is in shambles and the bank is about to foreclose on it. Even if Cal and Erin could sell it, they would barely get enough to cover all of their father's medical bills.
What will it take for Cal and Erin to let go of their dark and secretive pasts? Is it possible they can find the strength and courage to forgive and heal?
Well, the answers slowly and intensely unfold in "Montana Story" leaving viewers surprised yet satisfied in the end.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.
Watch This Trailer For "MONTANA STORY"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.