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Sunshine State Details


Writer and director John Sayles returns with another multi-layered look at an American community, subtly exploring how race, class, economics, and both national and regional history come together to shape people's lives. Plantation Island is a community on the coast of Florida; the island was once a notorious hotbed of segregationists, with most of the African-American population centered in the neighborhood of Lincoln Beach, while Delrona Beach is primarily home to white residents. Marly Temple (Edie Falco) is the sixth generation of her family to live in Delrona Beach, where she helps run a motel and cafe owned by her elderly and ill-tempered father (Ralph Waite) and drama instructor mother (Jane Alexander). Marly's former husband, Steve (Richard Edson), is a scruffy ne'er do well who's a sucker for get-rich-quick scams, while her current boyfriend, Scotty (Marc Blucas), is struggling to make something of himself as a golf pro. Meanwhile, Desiree Perry (Angela Bassett) is an actress who is returning to Lincoln Beach for the first time since she was a teenager, hoping to introduce her new husband, Reggie (James McDaniel), to her mother, Eunice Stokes (Mary Alice). Desiree was the center of a minor local scandal when she became pregnant as a teenager and moved away. Eunice has never quite forgiven her, while Flash (Tom Wright), Desiree's high school boyfriend and the man responsible, hasn't seen her since. Eunice is looking after Terrell (Alex Lewis), a troubled youth recently found guilty of arson, and Desiree and Reggie soon find themselves bonding with the misguided youth. In time, Delrona Beach and Lincoln Beach are brought together by a common concern; Greg (Perry Lang) and Lester (Miguel Ferrer) are representatives from a nearby resort community looking to expand, with Plantation Island looking like their most likely target. As homeowners debate whether to sell or stay put, local government officials and the town's business community argue the merits and faults of the resort's expansion into Plantation Island. Meanwhile, Marly becomes romantically involved with Jack (Timothy Hutton), a landscape architect affiliated with the developers who seems to believe his work is doing more harm than good. Sunshine State also features Mary Steenburgen, Alan King, and Bill Cobbs. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:June 21, 2002


Awarded by
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Edie Falco Best Supporting Actress 2002 Winner


Edie Falco
as Marly Temple
Angela Bassett
as Desiree Perry
Jane Alexander
as Delia Temple
Ralph Waite
as Furman Temple
James McDaniel
as Reggie
Timothy Hutton
as Jack Meadows
Mary Alice
as Eunice Stokes
Bill Cobbs
as Dr. Lloyd
Mary Steenburgen
as Francine Pickney
Gordon Clapp
as Earl Pickney
Richard Edson
as Steve Tregaskis
Tom Wright
as Flash Phillips
Perry Lang
as Greg
Miguel Ferrer
as Lester
Marc Blucas
as Scotty Duval
Michael Greyeyes
as Billy Trucks
Alan King
as Murray Silver
Charlayne Woodard
as Loretta
Robert Wisdom
Sam McMurray
as Northrup
Eliot Asinof
as Silent Sam
Sam McMurray
as Northrup


John Sayles
Maggie Renzi
John Sayles
Patrick Cady
Mason K. Daring
Composer (Music Score)
John Sayles
Mark Ricker
Production Designer
Shawn Carroll
Art Director
Nancy Schafer
Associate Producer
Carol Silverman
Set Designer
Judy Karp
Sound/Sound Designer
Ros Hubbard
John Hubbard
Lynn Bernay
Fred Rosenberg
Supervising Sound Editor