What You Need To Know:
(H, LLL, VV, SSS, NN, AB, A, PC) Humanism; 24 obscenities & 18 profanities; man severely beaten & one character shot to death; explicit sexual encounters (though brief & with little nudity) & much sexual immorality implied; brief, rear male nudity; negative caricature of fundamentalist Christian as narrow, bigoted & extremely harsh with physical discipline; alcohol use; and, underlying subtext suggesting the politically-correct notion that a nuclear family consists of any group of people who live together & care for one another.
THE BEANS OF EGYPT, MAINE are a dirt-poor clan inhabiting the edges of a New England burg of 300 souls. This slice of down-and-out life, which turns the phrase “extended family” inside out, offers only a glimmer of hope amidst a morass of rural despair. Reuben Bean, the patriarch, is the hard-drinking owner of a logging truck which is perpetually on its last legs. He also is the father of a number of children, though who is related to whom in their crowded house trailer is totally unclear. Both he and his cousin Beal are involved with Roberta, who has her own kids. When Reuben is sent to prison, Beal becomes, at a very young age, the head of the family. Watching the Bean commotion is Earlene. Earlene is more than eager to bail out of her home, even at the risk of falling into an unpleasant sexual initiation by Beal.
THE BEANS OF EGYPT, MAINE suggests that any collection of people who live together and support one another constitutes a family. Traditional concerns over who is mating with whom, do not apply here, and the pervading disorder in the Bean family speaks for itself. The grit and grime of this film includes quite a collection of obscene language and three brief but relatively explicit sexual encounters. Despite some capable performances and evocative photography, this trip to the uttermost parts of New England is long on suffering and short on edification.