One Friday before Labor Day weekend, a thunderstorm sweeps through Boehm, North Carolina, knocking out the power at Edge Inc., the vast furniture factory that dominates the town. In the down time that ensues, three workers make big plans. Wanda, who stencils designs on Edge bassinets, is invited to her co-worker's going-away party. Her "co-worker" is a true artist and the boss's son; the party becomes Wanda's debut to society folk. Across town, Mayhew, who varnishes the Edge dressers, plans to finish up the paint job on the Bentley in his basement. If all goes well, he'll be able to quit his factory job and launch a new career painting vintage cars. Haunted by dark memories, Roy decides to take a canoe trip down the Cape Fear River, chick into a Hilton, clean up, drink a fifth of Wild Turkey and blow his brains out.
Of course nothing goes as planned. Wanda's co-worker ahs a cruel streak what she hasn't seen—or has chosen not to see. Mayhew goes nuts when he believes his wife, Lela, has just about ruined his "career." Roy is headed for an unfamiliar stretch of river, and everything he has ever done wrong in his life is waiting for him at the river basin.
DOWNTIME reminds us that you really don't know the person working next to you—his ghosts or her quiet desperation. And though you may influence the life of another, you can never fully understand the depth and extent of that influence. DOWNTIME gives us a rare portrait of the living south, a complicated cross section of class and character, and a hard look at the distracting quality of work and what is left when the work is done.
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