SXSW Preview: Lebanon, Pa.

SXSW Film 2010

A charming big city advertising man is brought back home by the death of his father, forcing him to reconnect with the family and town he left behind long ago. Sure, this premise sounds used and familiar, but it’s the execution that will matter. And if there’s anything I’ve gathered from the trailer for Lebanon, Pa., from director Ben Hickernell, is that there’s something interesting about this rendition of the “coming home” story. First, you have the charm of Josh Hopkins, who’s made a name for himself on television. You’ve also got Samantha Mathis, whose lovely face is always welcome on my movie screen. And as I mentioned, something about the end of this trailer leads me to believe that there’s something intense about this film. See for yourself. I’ve posted both the official synopsis and the trailer below.

Lebanon, Pa. premieres at SXSW 2010 on Sunday, March 14 at 6:45p at the Alamo S. Lamar.


Will (Josh Hopkins), a charming 35-year-old Philadelphia ad man, heads to Lebanon, Pa. to bury his recently deceased father. He forms an unexpected friendship with CJ (Rachel Kitson), his bright, newly pregnant 17-year-old cousin. As Will becomes interested in CJ’s married teacher (Samantha Mathis) and CJ confronts her conflicted father, both struggle with formidable decisions about the path their lives will take. Can we vault our differences and meet in the middle? This bittersweet comic drama tenderly explores the cultural divide in America through the lives of one extended family.


Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet.

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