Citizen Ruth Reviews
This is a scathing satire on the hot-button issue of abortion, and the ballsiest move that is made is that the film takes neither side, and instead skewers them both equally.
Ruth is an unfit, drug addicted scumbag loser who, after finding out she's pregnant with her fifth child, finds herself unwittingly in the middle of the pro-life/pro-choice war as a hapless pawn who really wants nothing to do with either side, but is willing to play ball once she figures out that either side is willing to give her tons of cash if she joins in,
The film is a tad rough, but makes for a striking debut. It's got nothing but unlikable characters, and takes the best position on an issue where neither side is truly right or truly wrong. The portrayals of the pro-choicers and the pro-lifers are dead on accurate, and that will probably make some people very uneasy.
I think this is a bold film, and one that's also very sharp, funny, and entertaining, It does get a bit repetitive after a while, but overall, proves to be quite solid.
Laura Dern is brilliant as Ruth, and this is easily her most courageous and strong performance. It takes talent to pull off such a tough character, but she absolutely nails it. Other actors such as Kurtwood Smith and Swoosie Kurtz turn in some good work as well, but seem far less well rounded, and veer more often than not towards caricature. It's still some nice work though.
Payne obviously went on to far greater achievements, but this marked a great place for him to begin. Give it a go, it's quite something.
The film has some explorative cinematography, when put in the first person perspective of Ruth. It's nothing ground breaking, but is intriguing.
I felt that Ruth switched from mellow disinterest to extreme passion to often. Perhaps it was to show the ever changing moves of an inhaler addict, but it didn't always make sense. Luara Dern has gotten acclaim for this role, but I didn't see anything special. Little true emotion, and far to much swaying.
A brilliant dark comedy about abortion. Laura Dern gives the performance of a lifetime. Great cast and a great score.
Written and directed by Alexander Payne (see SIDEWAYS).
Laura Dern gives a creditable performance as an irresponsible, ne er-do-well, occasional reproducing mother, and constant/addicted? huffer. There is nothing about her character to root for. Its only a little less difficult to root for a huffer; than, say, an axe murder or a pedophile. The humor in her character was hard to relate to.
So, the story plays itself out. Our sometimes pregnant huffer, wanders to and fro; trying to gain some advantage and find her next inhalant high. There are a few amusing moments. But, the whole thing just sort of peters out at the end.
Maybe worth a rental.