Enid Devlin (a snake-eyed Margo Martindale, who wields a cane with finesse) runs a bed, breakfast & beyond, complete with a candy dish of condoms in the foyer and a retinue of young women on duty in the tiny Maine town where “Blow the Man Down” is set.
With a gracious exterior that’s only sparingly applied, she fails to hide her true nature for long. She’s too busy for the funeral of her old friend Mary Margaret Connolly, but the rest of the gang, Irish Catholic women who grew up and raised families in Easter Cove, enfold the dead woman’s daughters, Mary Beth (Morgan Saylor) and Priscilla (Sophie Lowe).
In this Amazon feature, streaming on Prime Video, the daughters are bitterly divided. Mary Beth, outwardly more spirited, can’t wait to break free from the town. Priscilla wants to stay and make a go of the family seafood market, although her mother’s only legacy is debt.
In the few days the film covers, three people will end up murdered, and a stunned Mary Beth and Priscilla will wrestle with a messy obstacle, until a greater force takes charge.
Women are the only ones who really have any agency in the movie, which was written and directed by the filmmaking team of Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole.
Men rarely come up; those who do are one-dimensional (there are a couple of police, a bad guy and a sea shanty chorus). The older women, on the other hand, Annette O’Toole among them, are almost uncannily attuned to one another, and once they decide to act, they slide effortlessly into their roles, as they always have, pulling the town’s strings.
While the sisterhood in Easter Cove is indeed powerful, the secrets that bind its members prove to be fairly simple, and the result is intriguing enough to make you wonder what these writer-directors might accomplish if they applied their vision to a more expansive canvas.
Blow the Man Down
Rated R. Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes.