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Novalee Nation (Natalie Portman) is a pregnant seventeen-year-old from Tennessee heading to California with her boyfriend Willie Jack Pickens (Dylan Bruno), but is abandoned by him at a Walmart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma. Novalee has no job, no skills, and only five dollars and fifty-five cents in her pocket, so she secretly lives in the Walmart until her daughter Americus (Mackenzie Fitzgerald) is born six weeks later. Novalee decides to raise her daughter and rebuild her life in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, with the help of eccentric but kind strangers. Based on the best-selling novel by Billie Letts.Written by
In this movie, we see Novalee Nation (Natalie Portman) carrying a buckeye tree. In Portman's first movie, Léon: The Professional (1994), she carried around Léon's potted plant, a Chinese evergreen. See more »
In opening scene of this movie it shows them at a trailer in Tellico Plains, TN which is located in Monroe County. Beside the trailer there is a train going by. There is no train track that runs through Tellico Plains, TN. In Monroe County only Sweetwater, Madisonville, and Vonore have train tracks running through their towns. See more »
A young pregnant girl (Natalie Portman) gets left in a small Oklahoma town by her loser boyfriend (Dylan Bruno) on their way to California from Tennessee. Portman is literally stranded at the local Wal-Mart and then becomes a national celebrity when she gives birth late one night at the store. Local gardener Stockard Channing and her live-in lover (Richard Jones) take the youngster and her child in as Portman gets the opportunity to work for Wal-Mart. Immediately we are introduced to a whole host of vivid characters. There is nurse Ashley Judd who is rearing five young children of her own, department store photographer Keith David and shy librarian James Frain who is taking care of his alcoholic older sister (Margaret Ann Hoard). And we even get a short glimpse of Portman's trashy, money-hungry mother (an electrically-charged cameo for Sally Field). Time passes, and Portman experiences life, love, triumph, tragedy and everything in between as she makes the small Oklahoma town her own. Smart drama that never loses its way and stays interesting due to Portman's show-stopping performance. The rest of the cast is right on key as well as fellow "Heat" alum Judd does a deceptively deep and heartfelt job. The movie works due to a steady pace, strong direction and a totally under-appreciated script. 4 stars out of 5.
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