Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 37
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 20
Unique but cold.
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 8,826
Palindromes opens with the dedication, "In loving memory of Dawn Wiener," a reference to the lead character in writer/director Todd Solondz' early feature, Welcome to the Dollhouse. Aviva has just attended Dawn's funeral. Dismayed by her older cousin's untimely death, Aviva asks her mother (Ellen Barkin) for assurance that she won't grow up to be like Dawn. Aviva only dreams of one thing -- having babies. Lots and lots of babies. As a teen, while Aviva has no interest in sex, she eagerly loses
Apr 13, 2004 Wide
Sep 13, 2005
Wellspring - Official Site
Stephen Adly Guirgis
Jennifer Jason Leigh
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Subversive by reputation, Solondz is an acquired taste on his best day, and he's just all over the place with this one. Unpleasantly so.
The movie's oppressive atmosphere of flatly rendered, all-consuming determinism leaves it sparkless, pointless and ultimately not very funny.
In its own peculiar way, it is a more compassionate and useful religious document than Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.
Palindromes" isn't a wise movie, or a particularly true movie, but it's an honest one and a singular experience.
There's pointed fatalism and indictments of middle-class superiority, but Solondz, ever the outsider, never loses affection for his misfits or stoops to passing judgment on their motivations. Love or hate him, he's vital.
"Palindromes" is a sloppy and muddy film that uses the shock value of seeing adult men humping numerous underage girls as its recurring visual device inscrutably linked to an unclear abortion issue theme.
Certainly a unique vision for a filmmaker, this is not a flick for everyone. Stick with it, however, and you just may thoroughly enjoy what is at the heart an incredibly sweet tale.
The director's latest trek into the lunatic void, of what can best be described as the cinematic version of clinical depression.
...captures the shifting identity of adolescence, where one day you feel like a glamorous adult, others like a scared child, others still like a grotesquely overweight misfit.
OK, I'll admit it: I've next to no idea what to make of Palindromes, and you know what? I doubt the filmmaker would have a problem with me owning up to it.
For all its pompous attempts at seriousness and emotional depth, Palindromes is actually a remarkably shallow affair.
Aviva...in all her permutations, may as well be a bug under the director's microscope.
[Director Todd] Solondz simply pukes all over the American landscape and all its inhabitants in a nihilistic cinematic chunder...
Underdeveloped and uneven yet oddly watchable, the gimmicky Palindromes once again cements the conceit that nobody makes films quite like Todd Solondz.
Todd Solondz's latest provocation is Palindromes, yet another uncomfortable fable of suburban dysfunction, puberty, and statutory rape.
Solondz's masterstroke is to have the girl, Aviva, played by eight different actors of varying ages, sizes and races -- a move that should decimate the film's narrative coherence but instead ups its allegorical value immeasurably.
...his most political film to date, yet any commentary Solondz tries to make becomes muddled amid all the depressing weirdness.
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