Thursday, March 26, 2009

Welcome to the Dollhouse

Tervetuloa nukketaloon. USA (c) 1995 Suburban Pictures. D: Todd Solondz. CAST: Heather Matarazzo, Dawn Wiener, Brendan Sexton, Jr., Daria Kalinina, Matthew Faber, Angela Pietropinto. 90 min. Finnish subtitles by Simo Tarkkonen. Dvd (Future Film 2006).

A moving account of the coming of age, school harassment, and growing pains at 12. Leonard Maltin crystallizes this very well: "The pain of puberty has never been portrayed so unflinchingly; smart-but-ordinary Matarazzo has to deal with her incredibly un-nurturing suburban family (which dotes on her "adorable" younger sister), and worse, the pranks and sexual threats of virtualy her entire junior high school. Amid this dire lack of support and warmth is a heroine of enormous pluck and cunning. While viewer may wince as numerous unpleasant situations play out, there is also terrific satire (and guffaws) as life in the Seventh-Grade-From-Hell is depicted with dead-on clarity. Strong performances, sharply scripted by the director". - Sensitive, humoristic, with a lively soundtrack incorporating nice surprises of familiar classical music excerpts. - Themes include sexual initiation and drugs. The ballerina little sister adored by everyone is kidnapped. The bully boyfriend Brandon McCarthy (Brendan Sexton III) escapes to New York. The egoistic rocker Steve Rodgers (Eric Mabius) insults the protagonist. She tries to find the lost little sister with a terrible sense of guilt.

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