My daughter and i saw this movie a few days ago. We loved it. It is a great period piece exploring Northern opinion during the Civil War. One town in the North (upstate New York), is divided between Southern sympathizers and fervent abolitionists. Note that this is not a war movie in the traditional sense of the phrase. No great battles are depicted and no leading generals are in sight. This is a political and emotional story of the war on the homefront.
All of the characters are well drawn and express their views without restraint. The movie is built around a love story between a boy (Casey Thomas Brown as Casey Brown) whose father (Billy Campbell as Abner Beech) opposes the war and a girl (Lucy Boynton as Esther Hagadorn ) whose father (Angus Macfadyen as Jee Hagadorn) is a religious abolitionist fanatic. The boy volunteers to join the army, along with many other young men from the town. With the young men off at war, conflicts threaten to tear the town apart and in some respects do.
The war itself is far away, but shows up as casualty lists are posted in the newspapers (and eventually as the dead and wounded return). The scenes of family members scanning the lists of dead, wounded, and missing looking for their sons, brothers, fathers, etc. are as sad, as they historically accurate.
The battles in the town end with both tragic and positive consequences. The movie if beautifully filmed and well acted. A great piece of American history. Well worth seeing.