Theatrical premiere: October 9, 2015 (United States)
Starring: Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson, Jenna Elfman, Whoopi Goldberg, John Benjamin Hickey, Anthony LaPaglia, Jane Krakowski, Jasmine Guy
Big Stone Gap
Director: Adriana Trigiani
Screenwriter: Adriana Trigiani
Running time: 93 minutes
Based on her best-selling novel of the same name, writer/director Adriana Trigiani brings the story of a coal mining town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia to vivid life. It’s 1978 and the ever-ordinary Ave Maria Mulligan (Ashley Judd) lives a simple life. Ave Maria lives with her mother, runs the pharmacy, directs The Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama, and hopes that Theodore Tipton, her best friend and the high school band director will take their platonic friendship in a romantic direction. Ave Maria waits, and before she knows it, she turns 40. Now the old maid of Big Stone Gap, Ave Maria decides that happiness is for other people – that is, until a long-buried family secret throws her quiet life spectacularly off-course.
While Ave Maria’s life implodes, a historic visit from the iconic movie star Elizabeth Taylor, who comes through town on a campaign stop with her new husband, Senate candidate John Warner, stirs the locals into a frenzy. As Hollywood glitter settles across the coal fields, Ave Maria is caught in the middle of a long held family feud and a marriage proposal that tanks. Her confusion and uncertainty lead her to rethink the choices she’s made and re-chart her own life course. She decides to trade security for adventure, believing for the first time, that it is never too late for anything—or anyone.
The all-star cast that has collectively won seven Tony Awards, two Academy Awards, three Grammys and four Emmys includes Patrick Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg, John Benjamin Hickey, Judith Ivey, Anthony LaPaglia, Chris Sarandon, Jasmine Guy, Jane Krakowski, James Hampton, Paul Wilson, Mary Pat Gleason, Dagmara Domincyzk, Mary Testa, and Jenna Elfman. An original score by John Leventhal and a soundtrack featuring the music of Rosanne Cash, Ralph Stanley, Michael Trigiani, Papa Joe Smiddy, If Birds Could Fly and others, complement the romantic tale of BIG STONE GAP to great effect. Shot entirely on location in the rolling hills of the real Big Stone Gap, Virginia, and featuring local talent at every turn, the film is truly a love letter to small town life, working people and the triumph of love.
“Big Stone Gap” Cast in Stills
Ashley Judd as Ave Maria Mulligan
Patrick Wilson as Jack MacChesney
Whoopi Goldberg as Fleeta Mullins
Jenna Elfman as Iva Lou Wade
Anthony LaPaglia as Spec Broadwater
John Benjamin Hickey as Theodore Tipton
Judith Ivey as Nan MacChesney
Angelina Fiordellisi as Fiammetta Mulligan
Bridget Gabbe as Tayloe Slagle
Erika Coleman as Pearl Grimes
Jane Krakowski as Sweet Sue Tinsley
Film frames from “Big Stone Gap”
Altar Identity Studios