‘Bonneville’ is touching and funny

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's


With an incredible cast, the 2006 film Bonneville is a sentimental dramedy about life, love, and change.  Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Joan Allen, Christine Baranski, and Tom Skerritt are great on their own but when they combine they are amazing with unique characters that meet life’s challenges and rise to the occasion.

After her husband of 20 years dies, Arvilla (Lange) is grieving and upset at the same time. Her step daughter Francine (Baranski) insists her father’s ashes be returned to Santa Barbara to be interred alongside her mother, however Arvilla had promised her husband Joe that she would spread his ashes. He did not want to be confined to a small spot for eternity. But Francine holds all the cards. The house in Pocatello, Idaho that Arvilla and Joe had shared for 20 years was left to her, so she blackmails Arvilla into bringing the ashes to California in order to remain in her house. What a great stepdaughter! Arvilla has to decide if she will stay in the house she shared with Joe and not keep her promise to him to spread his ashes, or return the ashes to California and remain in her home.

Her friends Margene (Bates) and Carol (Allen) convince her to return Joe to California. After all, she needs a house in which to live. They even volunteer to accompany her on the journey. So off they go, from Pocatello to Santa Barbara with several stops in between. What an interesting road trip for the three friends. 

Margene is the most practical and adventurous of the three. Carol is the most religious. They are all Mormon however Carol is now being introduced to new things she had never considered in her sheltered life. And Arvilla is happy to be on the road experiencing some of the places she and Joe visited when he was alive. All the while she is wondering if she is doing the right thing. After all, she did promise Joe that she would spread his ashes. And they never said where that would be. So, …

This road trip opens up a new world to the trio. Along the way they meet Emmett (Skerritt), a trucker who befriends the women and who is taken with Margene, who is open to a new relationship. Carol discovers new things about herself, and Arvilla learns that she is a strong, independent woman.

While this is mostly a sentimental story, there are some humorous scenes. And let’s face it, the premise is humorous in itself. The cast is remarkable and the bonus feature on the Blu-ray looks at the cast and how they relate to their characters. They all agreed that making this film was a great experience.

Bonneville is rated PG.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Los Angeles Press Club and the Television Critics Association and is accredited by the MPAA.