Writer and director Adriana Trigiani brings her best-selling novel Big Stone Gap to the screen in a heartwarming tale of family secrets and self-discovery in a tiny mountain town during the late 1970s. Shot entirely on location in the real Big Stone Gap, Trigiani’s hometown, the film is captures the joys, the tribulations and the rewards of life deep in the Appalachian Mountains.
Ave Maria Mulligan (Ashley Judd) has lived her whole life in tiny Big Stone Gap, a picturesque coal-mining town nestled in the hollers of southwestern Virginia. When she’s not making deliveries from her family’s pharmacy to far-flung neighbors, Ave Maria directs the annual outdoor drama festival, keeps chaste company with her longtime beau, Theodore (John Benjamin Hickey), and exchanges good-natured barbs with local hunk Jack MacChesney (Patrick Wilson). Just as Ave Maria has resigned herself to life as a self-proclaimed “old maid,”she is caught off guard by a family secret, an unexpected marriage proposal and a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Big Stone Gap by movie legend Elizabeth Taylor. With everything she knows changing before her eyes, Ave Maria plans the adventure of a lifetime in Big Stone Gap, a homespun romantic comedy about small-town life, working people and the triumph of love.