Saturday, April 2, 2011


Enid Zentelis, 2004 (8.3*)
This is one of those small indie films that looks like one, with perhaps a budget of 200k. However, director Zentelis has actually captured the double angst of being both a teenage girl and being mired in abject poverty. She has a single mom, and due to low income work they both have to move into a ramshackle house that leaks buckets when it rains with granny, the mom's mother.

Abbie Land does a credible job in her first performance as the teen, who has a penchant for two-toned hair, and a wealthy boy she meets in her new high school. Embarassed to bring him to her granny's house, she starts hanging out at his house instead, actually becoming friends with his mother, played by Mary Kay Place, an agoraphobic who hasn't left the house in years.

This film was made with a grant from the Sundance Institute, and was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at that film festival. Even though the film is a little raw, it's very unpretentious and achieves what it attempts, a realistic look at the plight of poor Americans vs. those who seem to have it all except happiness. Zentelis avoids judgment, the shortcomings and empty lives are shown on both sides of the economic fence.

Only a Native American card dealer, perfectly played by Gary Farmer (Powwow Highway, Smoke Signals), seems well-adjusted with his life, and he is so poor that he built his car by hand after stealing one part at a time while working at an auto plant, so only one door will even open and the hood is tied down with rope. And you thought that you had it tough!

People who liked An Education (2009), Thirteen (2005), and Winter's Bone (2010) will like this film as well.


About Me

My photo
Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

About This Blog

This is our new template: ProBlogger.

These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

Author at EZines

  © Blogger templates ProBlogger Template by 2008

Back to TOP