Movie review: Blow The Man Down

Greek chorus

Blow the Man DownThe movie Blow The Man Down begins with David Coffin and other men singing the title song. You may know the tune from Popeye cartoons. The singers are a Greek chorus of sorts, I suppose. I enjoyed them quite a lot.

The story proper begins with the funeral of Mary Margaret Connolly in Easter, Cove, Maine. She had two adult daughters, Priscilla (Sophie Lowe) and Mary Beth (Morgan Saylor). The mom had three good friends Susie (June Squibb), Doreen (Marceline Hugot), and Gail (Annette O’Toole) who say they’ll be there for the daughters.

Part of the trio’s mission is to change the profile of the local, er, B and B, run by their former colleague, Enid Nora Devlin (Margo Martindale). The proprietor seems disinclined.

Meanwhile, a murdered body washes up on the shore. Officer Coletti (Skipp Sudduth) and his younger, more eager colleague, Officer Justin Brennan (Will Brittain) are investigating the homicide.

That’s all I’ll say about the plot. The story was written and directed by Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy.

Satisfaction

Leonard Maltin’s observations seem applicable. “Blow the Man Down hasn’t great ambitions but fulfills its modest goals nicely. It’s well worth streaming, especially if you have a cup of chowder handy.” In fact, 98% of the critics gave the film a thumbs up, ranking #29 on the Rotten Tomatoes list for 2020.

General audiences were a bit more critical, with 75% liking it. Some found it too slow, or too much like Fargo. A few complained about the resolution; I thought it was one of the best elements. Others didn’t like the singing fishermen, for which I say, FIE!

Maybe it is that I am particularly fascinated with family secrets, many of which do not come to light until after someone dies. This narrative felt emotionally true for me.

I’ve liked June Squibb ever since I saw her in the movie Nebraska back in 2014. But the scene-stealer in this film is Margo Martindale, who is the focus of every scene she’s in.

I watched Blow the Man Down on Amazon Prime.