I’m sure there is a meaning to the title of Billy Bob Thornton’s Jayne Mansfield’s Car but I’m not certain of what it is. Maybe it’s the fact that when two disparate families — one from Alabama and the other from England — meet for a funeral they mesh as well as a car crash. Or maybe it’s the fact that these families find common ground when they visit the car she crashed in at, of all places, a discount store. Both are probably correct, as the film echoes the individual and shared highs and lows both families are going through and how they ultimately help and learn from one another. And if the sentimentalism of the trailer is any indication, the feature, which stars and all-star cast, is going to try like hell to pull some tears out of its audience as it echoes these tribulations.
Jayne Mansfield’s Car stars Billy Bob Thornton, Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Shawnee Smith, Robert Patrick and Ray Stevenson.
A bittersweet meditation on the aftermath of war, Jayne Mansfield’s Car looks at two families, one Southern & one British, in Alabama in 1969. Brought together by the death of a woman who was married first to Jim Caldwell (Robert Duvall) and then to Kingsley Bedford (John Hurt), the families struggle with long-held resentments, jealousy, fear of growing old and, most poignantly, the tension between three generations of fathers and sons whose notions of manhood are shaped by their exposure to combat, its myths and realities.
Jayne Mansfield’s Car comes to US theaters on September 13, 2013.