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.