Cavedweller (2004) starring Kyra Sedgwick, Aidan Quinn, Sherilyn Fenn, Jill Scott, Kevin Bacon directed by Lisa Cholodenko Movie Review

Cavedweller (2004)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Kyra Sedgwick in Cavedweller (2004)

A Returning Byrd

Delia Byrd (Kyra Sedgwick) finds her life in a mess when her rock star partner, Randall Pritchard (Kevin Bacon), dies in a car crash whilst driving with a girlfriend leaving Delia with their daughter Cissy (Regan Arnold) who blames her for her father's death. In need of a break Delia decides to move her and Cissy back to her Georgia hometown except years ago Delia left behind Clint (Aidan Quinn) her abusive first husband and two daughters as she knew one day Clint would end up killing her. But whilst many do not welcome Delia's return including her daughters and Clint's mum times have changed as Clint is now dealing with terminal cancer and wants Delia to nurse him at home till he dies and in return he will help mend the bridges with their daughters.

I am going to say spoiler alert right now because I have been pondering "Cavedweller" for a while and how to review and I am not entirely sure how this is going to go. Now "Cavedweller" is the story of Delia who as we learn via flashbacks was an abused wife with a jealous husband who would grab her even if she smiled at another guy which she seemed happy to do. But we see how the abuse put her in fear of her life and so she ran off with a rock band and hooked up with the singer who in turn was unfaithful to her. But then we see her return home, a brave decision, as not only do the daughters she left behind hate her for abandoning them but others in the town remember and without knowing the full story of the abuse make her feel uncomfortable for returning. All of which is good as it certainly paints a picture of a woman who has had a tough life, made some bad choices but never seems to really catch a break.

Aidan Quinn in Cavedweller (2004)

But then this evolves with Delia meeting up with Clint again who is dying and tries to help in mending those broken bridges with their daughters. And this isn't the sweet and sentimental type of story which some similar movies would be but instead has a tone that for some people life is one trial after another. And in a way it is good for being such as it paints a decent picture of the life of Delia Byrd from being an abused housewife, a cheated on wife and in her early days a bit flirty and so on.

But there is another side to "Cavedweller" which I am not sure about and it is the inclusion of some strange scenes and character choices which for the life of me I don't know why they are there. For example there is a scene where Delia is in the bath and she has a flashback to a moment of violence when previously she had been giving one of her daughters a bath whilst Clint was in a rage. Seems fine but for some reason that scene is dominated by the fact that actress Kyra Sedgwick is topless and rather than framing the shot so that we see her face and neck for some reason we have to see her topless. Yes people bathe naked but it has no significance in telling the story or establishing her character. There are other scenes as well which seem to have no significance in telling the story.

What this all boils down to is that "Cavedweller" ends up a movie which could have been really gritty, realistic and hard hitting but it feels like every now and then it tries too hard to come across as raw with aspects which are insignificant in the long run and detract from the story.