By Arnab Mukherjee(03 Jan 2009)
"Regarded by many as the 'Godfather of American Independent Cinema', John Sayles (City Of Hope, Matewan, Lone Star) returns with the must-see Honeydripper, continuing his extraordinary examination of the complexities and shifting identities of American sub-cultures. The film is a fable about the birth of rock 'n' roll – a quintessentially American subject.
It's 1950 and it's a make or break weekend for Tyrone “Pine Top” Purvis (Danny Glover), the proprietor of the Honeydripper Lounge. Deeply in debt, Tyrone is desperate to bring back the crowds that used to come to his place. He decides to lay off his long-time blues singer Bertha Mae (Mable John), and announces that he's hired a famous guitar player, Guitar Sam, for a one night only gig in order to save the club.
Into town drifts Sonny Blake (Gary Clark Jr.), a young man with nothing to his name but big dreams and a wooden guitar. Rejected by Tyrone when he applies to play at the Honeydripper, he is intercepted by the corrupt local Sheriff, arrested for vagrancy, and rented out as an unpaid cotton picker to the highest bidder. When Tyrone's ace-in-the-hole fails to materialize at the train station, his desperation leads him back to Sonny and the strange, wire-dangling object in his guitar case. The Honeydripper Lounge is all set to play its part in rock 'n' roll history.
Honeydripper won the award for Best Screenplay at the San Sebastián Film Festival (2007), and the Outstanding Independent Film Award at the NAACP Image Awards (2008). With a stunning soundtrack and a stellar cast, including Danny Glover, Charles S. Dutton, Stacey Keach and Mary Steenburgen, as well as performances by Motown legend Dr. Mable John, Keb' Mo' and rising star Gary Clark Jr"