Gold: 1997 family drama
Fonda title role; “____'s Gold”: Peter Fonda film;
Big screen beekeeper; Movie beekeeper; 1997 beekeeping role for
3 times a year
America' Peter Fonda keeps on riding
Gold is a 1997 film released by Orion Pictures. It was written
and directed by Victor Nunez, and stars Peter Fonda, Patricia
Richardson, Christine Dunford, Tom Wood, Jessica Biel, J. Kenneth
Campbell, Steven Flynn, Dewey Weber, and Vanessa Zima.
Nunez’s projects are decidedly "non-Hollywood."
warning: Plot or ending details follow.
plays Ulee (short for Ulysses) Jackson, a Vietnam vet widower and
grandfather, beekeeper by profession, who raises two
granddaughters because his son is in prison and daughter-in-law
has run away to a druggie's existence. The son implores him to
look for his wife and bring her home; the film shows Ulee holding
the family together and attempting to protect them from two young
criminals, associates of his son, who come looking for a hidden
stash of cash. The movie is calculatedly slow, being entirely
keyed to the character of Ulee, who has suppressed all his
natural emotions in order to cope with the difficult
circumstances of his life. Ulee is all pent-up but when he vents
his emotions, he never goes over the top or gets too histrionic
(a more flamboyant actor might not have resisted the urge).
movie is a family drama that seems somewhat old-fashioned,
particularly when we remember Fonda's rebellious youth persona
from The Wild Angels (1966) and Easy Rider (1969). Unlike those
films, Ulee's Gold upholds family values and responsibility,
stressing the virtue of hard work, its ultimate moral being that
there are no short cuts to riches (or perhaps, more to the point,
to success in living). The title is slightly ironic since the
plot has do with the money hidden in Ulee's beeyard; in fact it
refers to the golden honey that Ulee harvests. The title also
implies a sense of community -- the message being that one can
reach out in times of need -- contradicting the image of the
lonely protagonist that Fonda's persona tends to enforce. Fonda's
performance was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Van Morrison sings "Tupelo Honey" over the end credits.
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It uses material from the Wikipedia
article "Ulee's Gold".