• R, 1 hr. 36 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Karen Moncrieff
    In Theaters:
    May 2, 2003 Wide
    On DVD:
    Oct 14, 2003
  • Miramax Films

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Blue Car Reviews

Page 1 of 6
Bill D 2007
Bill D 2007

Super Reviewer

November 25, 2009
Karen Moncrieff is the best American filmmaker you've never heard of. It's ridiculous that her work is so little talked about. "Blue Car," her first film, at times borders on greatness. It drifts into pretentiousness and preciousness one too many times, but for a filmmaker to get close to greatness her first time out is nothing short of amazing. (Moncrieff, I should point out, got even closer to greatness with her second film, the bizarrely under-rated "The Dead Girl," which I consider the second-best film of 2006, after Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain.")

"Blue Car" tells a delicate story of an exceptionally bright teenage girl cast adrift by a self-absorbed mother who barely notices when she's in the room. The girl retreats into herself, explores sad memories of being abandoned by her father, and ends up penning poetry that dazzles and frightens her intelligent but lonely English teacher (played beautifully by David Strathairn.)

He volunteers to coach her after school to develop her poetry even further, and so begins a journey that sometimes is too beautiful and too painful for both of them. The film gets sidetracked into a separate drama concerning the girl's younger sister, which weakens the film and makes its sadness a bit over-thick. But the journey of discovery that the girl and man go on is at times the stuff of great literature. Actress Agnes Bruckner gives a breakthrough performance as the girl, and it is beyond belief that she wasn't nominated for an Oscar. Her work is so good that I venture to say that hers is the best teenage acting performance of the decade.

"Blue Car" helps to remind us how life-changing and essential friendships between teenagers and adults can be -- but also how overwhelming and destabilizing they can be. As tough as these relationships are -- for both parties -- they are often the crucible in which new life, and new art, is born.
Lanning :

Super Reviewer

October 20, 2006
Okay, so are all English teachers this, uh, disturb . . ed . . . ing? Let us hope not. Yikes! David, you are well-done creepy here, buddy. Yes, quite an unsettling performance from David Strathairn as the, uh, overly supportive English teacher. No doubt, however, that this is Bruckner's film. A very genuine emotional portrayal of a young woman struggling to cope with -- and because of -- her dysfunctional family.
Mark A

Super Reviewer

October 16, 2008
Incredible, powerful, and extremely sad, one only hopes that the strength that Meg (Agnes Bruckner) finds at the end is enough to carry her through. My heart broke for her. A child of divorced parents who don't get along, Meg is ignored by her father and taken for granted by her mother. Meanwhile, her sister is losing touch with reality and the mother is oblivious to the warning signs until it is too late. All of this makes Meg easily susceptible to the attentions of her AP English teacher (David Strathairn), whose intentions may have been honorable at first, but who ultimately takes advantage of her vulnerability and betrays her trust. All of this however inspires her to a new honesty in her art and forces her to take stock of her life and hopefully begin again. Ms Bruckner gave her character just enough Lolita to make the May-December thing believable. Her need to be taken seriously and for acceptance blinded her to the dishonesty of others and made her susceptible to numerous betrayals. Don't believe the marketing hype. This is no teen sexploitation film. It is a tender, well done, coming of age film about a young poet finding her voice through layers upon layers of tragedy.
iamthethinman
September 4, 2009
I guess this movie was to help set me up for the mood of The Road and The Lovely Bones. I found this filmmakers later film The Dead Girl somewhat fascinating in its real take of a dark tone and ability to craft the performances of so many people, unless she just got lucky and every actor in the movie did awesome work (Brittany Murphy was in that one). This movie has the same depressing tone throughout. However, there were always peeks at positivity that you somehow wished wouldn?t get shot down.

This movie is a tale of a girl who has been forced to act like a woman from a young age, then has a journey that makes her into one. And it ain?t a pretty one. In fact, this journey shows how she will probably be a stronger woman, or person in general, then everyone else that is seen in the movie. It is a definite tragic tale, but doesn?t dwell on any one thing long enough to completely deflate everything. It keeps it moving at a good pace and Agnes Bruckner is amazing. I loved her in The Woods. Now, got to see her in more things.
January 2, 2009
What an amazing directorial debut form Karen Moncrieff.

Agnes Bruckner gives a phenomenal performance as does David Strathairn.

The story is simple but at the same time filled with incredible nuances and depth.

After watching this film and "The Dead Girl" I am a Moncrieff fan for life. Wow.

The subject matter is extremely dark so beware!
sbrandnewidea
July 7, 2007
Amy Smart at her best, with a good story. This movie surprised me and kept me interested throughout.
July 31, 2013
Well acted and well made drama about a teen in crisis. What I found unforgivable was the betrayal of trust on the part of the teacher in the story--an adult, no matter how unhappy his life, only commits this kind act out of pure selfishness and to do such a thing to a girl he knows has been through hell is inexcusable. Everyone involved betrays their responsibility to this girl, and no one tries to get her the help she needs.
Dave J
June 18, 2013
Tuesday, June 18, 2013

(2002) Blue Car
DRAMA

Written and directed by Karen Moncrieff, starring Agnes Bruckner as Megan, an aspiring student who is influenced by her teacher(David Strathairn) to enter herself in a "poetry contest" for a chance to get some sponsorship money while at the same time coping with her troubled sister and her bitter divorced mother after their father had left them. It's called "Blue Car" because it was a name she had called her poem she had written and then entered into the contest which the last thing she had remembered after her dad left for he was driving a blue colored car.

Now, while I love the beginning, the film felt more bleak as the story continues. the premise is a hard one to accept whereas after the father had left, it not only affected the two sisters severely but it had also left the mother to become extremely bitter toward her ex-husband leaving viewers totally in the dark about it's circumstances except that it's somehow expressed through a poem, and it still doesn't explain anything. I also thought the bond between the two sisters isn't genuine enough and that the movie could've dwelled on that relationship even more since it almost seemed so artificial from the viewers standpoint. Character development among it's central characters seems to be something that is making it much harder to like this film for any reason whatsoever despite great performances by it's leads.

2 out of 4 stars
September 14, 2007
This melancholy, insightfully scripted coming-of-age drama is moving without being manipulative and makes an assured calling card for writer-director Karen Moncrieff.
December 29, 2010
A good movie. A difficult story, full of teenage innocence and amorality, and adult confusion too. The story seemed real to me, and made me very uncomfortable. The Guardian called this 'a subtle wise and worrying film'. I think I will be chewing on it for a while.
October 31, 2010
When a high school English teacher encourages his talented, fatherless female student to enter a poetry contest, he has no idea what he has set in motion...I thought this was a very touching and well done movies and I agree with Mark, five stars.
Bill D 2007
Bill D 2007

Super Reviewer

November 25, 2009
Karen Moncrieff is the best American filmmaker you've never heard of. It's ridiculous that her work is so little talked about. "Blue Car," her first film, at times borders on greatness. It drifts into pretentiousness and preciousness one too many times, but for a filmmaker to get close to greatness her first time out is nothing short of amazing. (Moncrieff, I should point out, got even closer to greatness with her second film, the bizarrely under-rated "The Dead Girl," which I consider the second-best film of 2006, after Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain.")

"Blue Car" tells a delicate story of an exceptionally bright teenage girl cast adrift by a self-absorbed mother who barely notices when she's in the room. The girl retreats into herself, explores sad memories of being abandoned by her father, and ends up penning poetry that dazzles and frightens her intelligent but lonely English teacher (played beautifully by David Strathairn.)

He volunteers to coach her after school to develop her poetry even further, and so begins a journey that sometimes is too beautiful and too painful for both of them. The film gets sidetracked into a separate drama concerning the girl's younger sister, which weakens the film and makes its sadness a bit over-thick. But the journey of discovery that the girl and man go on is at times the stuff of great literature. Actress Agnes Bruckner gives a breakthrough performance as the girl, and it is beyond belief that she wasn't nominated for an Oscar. Her work is so good that I venture to say that hers is the best teenage acting performance of the decade.

"Blue Car" helps to remind us how life-changing and essential friendships between teenagers and adults can be -- but also how overwhelming and destabilizing they can be. As tough as these relationships are -- for both parties -- they are often the crucible in which new life, and new art, is born.
angie225
October 8, 2008
It's a good and involving drama. Very sad. I hated the end, the poem contest was stupid, disappointing. I was impressed with the characters of the young girls, they were terrific.
vic40186
October 8, 2008
:fresh: [b][i]Blue Car is a good drama that has a catastrophic ending. In fact, the film was deeply involving until the girl arrived to Florida, since the moment she steps on the beach, the story trembles and the ridiculous poem she says in the contest was stupid... I hate when people in movies ruin their chances to win a competition.[/i][/b]
jazza923
May 13, 2007
Excellent drama, superb performances by Agnes Bruckner and Margaret Colin. Very well written, excellent feature film debut for director Karen Moncrieff. Sensitively made, poignant and well crafted film.
RoganS_7
March 10, 2007
I LOVE Blue Car, I'm so obsessed with it right now. The movie is very sad at parts and I cried at one scene. This movie is one of my favorite movies.
DrunkenSuperman
July 22, 2005
I felt like I was watching two separate films combined into one. On one hand you have an interesting look at a developing bond between a troubled student and a somewhat enigmatic teacher with good performances by Daivd Strathairn and Agnes Bruckner. On the other hand you have a shrill, sometimes preposterous family melodrama that seems to serve as one overlong plot device. It serves its purpose, but I feel it could've been accomplished in better ways.
Academock
July 6, 2005
[b]TV[/b] Second Viewing, 1 Moncrieff film seen

Last night, Megan was telling me about a scene in Neil Labute's [i]In the Company of Men[/i]. I saw the film years ago but couldn't remember much of it. Anyway, Aaron Eckhart is talking to a new hire about how he needs "big brass balls" to succeed in the business. Eckhart gets carried away in his own manliness and eventually tells the man to show him his balls. The man does.

The point is that Eckhart didn't really want to see his balls. The moment the man exposes himself to Eckhart we can tell that Eckhart is thinking "WTF!?"

Why did I share this little story before my review of [i]Blue Car[/i]?

I think that scene and the entirity of [i]Blue Car[/i] share some of the same psychology. By the ending, we see the regret of Strathairn's character. It's hard to forgive him, but we understand how he wishes he could just turn back time. At least I would like to hope so. What do you think?
MonkeyKnifeFight
June 4, 2005
another one of those coming of age stories. Who didnt see that the teacher and her were going to fuck? geez.
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