My husband and I live in a small town in a country where we don’t know the language. The weather is bad. The customs are confusing. My husband is in school here, but many of my days are spent in bed, reading, and listening to the oppressive cathedral bells clang through the hours. We’ve viciously fought, too much, just about how we talk to each other. At times, I’ve had too much to drink. I’m either inattentive—glued with loneliness to my laptop screen—or I feel neglected. It’s like I’m Winona Ryder in that bad Jerry Lee Lewis biopic, when, as thirteen-year-old Myra Gale, she crumples to the floor and bellows in a blasphemous accent, “But I don’t know how to be a waff!” Because I don’t. And neither does he know how to be a husband. We’re still learning.
One of the few contemporary shows that has made a real home in the South is FX’s Justified. Its characters are deeply rooted in Harlan County, Kentucky, and bound by complex webs of family, historical, and regional loyalties.
Jeff Nichols's third film is a universal story told with a Southern working-class voice that's nearly unparalleled in modern American cinema. OA contributor Linc Leifeste interviewed Nichols about his Southern roots, his relationship with actor Michael Shannon, and some of the themes that run through his films.