In spite of the advice of his children, he takes a trip to visit his former students who now work in impoverished villages... She drinks heavily and vents her bitterness on the succession of nurses who are hired to take care of her and immediately quit because she is so unbearable.
Chantelle for reasons of her own, is also in a position where she badly needs the job to work out.
The movie focuses on how these two women become friends and help each other heal emotionally.
Evoking Robert Flaherty's LOUISIANA STORY, the boat-trip-to-Misere scene is particularly memorable, with well-deployed Cajun lore blending with very memorable cinematography (courtesy Roger Deakins, cinematographer for FARGO, KUNDUN, SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION & SID AND NANCY, among other recent classics) to create one of the most unforgettable moments of Sayles' career.
As most of the primary characters are either outsiders, or are returning after long absences, the common problem of show-biz fake accents is avoided nicely - Sayles (and Deakins) manage to capture an image of rural Louisiana that is enveloping and authentic, while never forgetting the reality that accents will vary widely even in local areas.
The first one opened in Reston, Virginia, under a bit more inauspicious circumstances—it was the same week the financial meltdown struck the stock market in 2008.
Despite the rocky economy at the outset, that restaurant has been a success and led the three partners to open the new Bethesda location. “In Reston there was a lot of chains when we opened.
At every moment where this could've degenerated into movie-of-the-week sap, Sayles instead elegantly and confidently steers the film into De Sica (or Woody Guthrie and Steinbeck) territory: there's not a sour note to be seen here.
The waiters are trained, the silverware is out and the food has been ordered—Passion Fish, Bethesda’s newest restaurant, is ready to open.
Tunks said the partners signed the lease for the location when the Lot 31 project was just a hole in the ground.
Since then the Flats apartments and The Darcy condos have been developed on the site and are now open.
“We thought it was going to be an ideal corner, sort of the epicenter of what downtown Bethesda has become,” Tunks said.