After the disappearance of her husband, a struggling farmer in an isolated Appalachian community fights to save her son when the cold-hearted matriarch of the oldest family on the mountain demands payment of a debt that could destroy a decade’s old truce.
First, we kick it off with Lemon’s introduction, a wife working on the farm trying to keep it all together as we learn her husband has disappeared.
Next, we see that the men coming for payment, understanding, and knowing the husband is gone. Through the woods, Lemon goes all over town to find ways to make money and try and find her husband.
Lemon, who is played by Danielle Deadwyler, is a remarkable heroine of the movie. We see the subtle down to earth mother transform into this sense of urgency, and Deadwyler expresses these range of emotions to perfection.
Also, another standout was the music/score. The tunes that are played set the tone and the feel of the era we are in. Just beautifully mixed sound and editing was done well by all parties.
Lastly, we come full circle with a great bow to our story that sees a fierce Lemon showcase how she doesn’t take any shit from anyone.
Writers across the country could learn a thing or two from Lane and Ruckus Skye about writing strong dominant women in a film. Their writing of Lemon is some of my favorite of the year.
‘The Devil to Pay is carried by a powerful performance by Danielle Deadwyler’
Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.