Set in 1969, the story centers on Jim (Duvall), who is thrown into a feud after his ex-wife — who left him to marry a Brit and move to England — passes away, and her body is brought back to Alabama for the funeral. Needless to say, quite a few issues are uncovered and need to be resolved. Certainly the film looks gorgeous, and the cast looks uniformly strong with a drama of the sort we don’t really get much of often (which may be why it’s having troulbe finding a home). But according to Playlister Jessica Kiang, the film lacks the magic of Thornton’s debut effort. “…Thornton’s first fiction feature as director in over a decade, ‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car’ feels curiously old-fashioned and has none of the focus and discipline that made his debut ‘Sling Blade’ such an immediate, Oscar-winning success,” she wrote in her review from Berlin. “But as a nearly stageplay-like showcase for some extremely watchable actors, it is diverting enough to almost compensate for its awkwardness in other areas.” – Kevin Jagernauth, Indiewire.
I caught a look at it out of Berlin as well and wasn’t a huge fan.