Palindromes Reviews

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June 27, 2015
Highly misunderstood film. It is about Aviva. Solondz captures the injury of this girls heart, the fragility of her ego/ self-identity (demonstrated through using multiple actresses), and the purity of her perspective. It is a tale of a broken angel who sees the good in everyone while trying to find herself but never quite getting there. A broken dream. It is cold. Heartbreakingly cold. Very affecting film
April 11, 2015
Endlessly fascinating film that acts as a third installment to the stories and characters created in WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE and HAPPINESS. This is surrealistic depiction of choices and limitations imposed from almost all aspects of our culture. At times the film works smoothly and other times the limitations of some of the actors harm the vision. But this is a film well worth viewing from an American film artist with a very unique perspective and voice.
May 1, 2014
If you have a strong stomach, are not easily disturbed, and can see humour in the darkest of places then watch this, then read the IMDB discussions, which are equally amusing. Solondz, once again makes a film about twisted kids, which, once again, touches on Paedofilia, but the main message is surely inspired by anti-abortion campaigners. Despite the similarities to some of his other films this is a very very original movie in it's own right. The fact that the main character is played by a rotating cast of very different actresses (and possibly one actor) keeps you on your toes, as does the side-game of spot the palindrome.
½ April 27, 2014
I've been watching Todd Solondz's films in chronological order. This one, his fourth, doesn't quite achieve the heights of Happiness, his second film, but is a significant step up from Storytelling, his tepid third film. It's as provocative and morbidly deadpan as ever, with a somewhat baffling layer of formal experimentalism overlaid the typically grotesque subject matter this time.
This film follows Aviva, a 13-year-old girl who desperately wants to get pregnant. Oddly, it's mentioned that she is the cousin of Dawn Weiner, the protagonist of Solondz's first film Welcome to the Dollhouse, who we are told has just committed suicide. Aviva, who is played by eight different actresses (of varying races, ages, and genders) in the film's various chapters, does manage to get pregnant, but is pressured by her mother (Ellen Barkin) into having an abortion. Eventually she runs away and ends up living with a family run by hyper-Christian pro-life parents, who have adopted a number of deformed and unwanted children (many of whom are played by children with real deformities or otherwise crippling conditions). Other stuff happens, but I don't want to give too much away.
The device of having the main character switch to a different actress every 10 or 20 minutes is definitely startling at first, but by the end of the film I was strangely used to it. The casting choice that stands out the most is Sharon Wilkins, an obese black woman who appears to be in her 30s. Most of the incarnations of Aviva are white teenage girls, except for Wilkins and Jennifer Jason Leigh, who was around 40 when she made the movie. Still, Wilkins's performance is so subdued and childlike that you quickly accept her as a 13-year-old girl, somehow. It really is a strange effect - what should seem like the ultimate Brechtian distancing device becomes, in this film, oddly natural-seeming. You never quite forget about the different-actresses issue, but it's never at the forefront of your mind, either; and you do get a sense of a consistent character across all the performances.

Aside from the casting stunt, the film has all of Solondz's trademarks - grim, deadpan humor, bleak irony, pedophilia, and a refusal to easily judge his characters. On the one hand, this seems like it should come off as the ultimate nihilism - if there's no firm moral ground for the viewer to stand on amidst all this horrible stuff, what are we to hold on to? On the other hand, Solondz at his best - here and especially in Happiness - can genuinely make you empathize with people who do horrible things. So you do still feel things, but there is virtually no one you can easily identify as a good person in these films, at least among the adults. I don't know. I'm not really sure what to say about Solondz's ethics or lack thereof overall. Purely as a viewing experience, however, this film is certainly more interesting and entertaining than Storytelling, and strange enough to recommend to adventurous viewers.
August 2, 2013
I'm completely puzzled by the low ratings for this film. This is a sort of sequel to WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE that ventures further into American culture and hypocrisy. Utilizing some great performances, insightful characterizations and surrealism - Solondz has created a uniquely American take on life. Powerful work. I consider this film to be a masterpiece. I must be in the minority. Mention must be made of Jennifer Jason Leigh's brilliant and all-too brief performance.
April 19, 2013
Wtf did I just watch? I usually like messed up movies and enjoyed Todd Solondz's other works such as Happiness and Welcome to the Dollhouse but this pile of shit didn't make any sense whatsoever. Seriously whats up with 8 different actresses playing one girl in one movie? Why did we this movie need any of that?
½ July 28, 2013
An interesting experiment, if not an interesting story.
½ May 1, 2013
Palindromes is frustrating at times, but it is also a brutal, ethically challenging picture, that you leave feeling there are 'no right answers'.
Super Reviewer
½ February 15, 2013
I think it's a wonderful follow up to the cult classic- Welcome to the Dollhouse. It was once again, darkly humored, right from the very beginning of the film, you can already feel the macabre. Very typically Jewish but very fresh and original. Aviva is basically another Dawn, with a different storyline and different actors. I think it's quite unique in the way that 8 different actors played the same role. Also the title of the film really does get into you and you would see how clever it is. Fans would enjoy it but others may not.
½ February 7, 2013
Some Solondz movies are brilliant, others are mind-boggling, unsettling, slow and do not make a point. Very unsatisfying.
June 27, 2007
A Todd Solondz film. That's really all you need to know. There are some beautiful scenes on display here, but it is NOT for all tastes. There are some pretty uncomfortable, graphic scenes here. Several different actors play the main character, a 13 year old girl whose main goal in life is to become pregnant. Yeah. Ellen Barkin is amazing, though.
½ February 2, 2013
Just why? Why?And why again. Hmph.
½ August 12, 2011
"Palindromes" is one of the most if not the most depressive movie I have seen so far and were it Solondz's debut I might have admired it more. But it is not. Todd Solondz has taken this path before and with greater results. This one has all it's predecessors' unpleasantness, but none of their energy. It is a dull and unrewarding film that
underlines obvious aspects to justify its unpleasant tone. Maybe it is time he shifts gears and brings something new to the silver screen
January 15, 2013
The only bullshit you'll find in a Todd Solondz movie, is the bullshit you brought into it.

And that's just fine.

He'll take the bow off your lovely box of bullshit and dig down right to the bottom.

If there was a bottom.

There isn't a bottom. If you were looking for truth, that's it.

I've long held that most movie critics are moral grandstanders, picking and choosing, elevating and diminishing for their own curatorial interests, the bad reviews of this film supports that.

This is an honest, thoughtful, considerate and provocative piece of art that should leave you feeling wonderfully uncomfortable. Yes, you heard me, discomfort can be wonderful.

Life is uncomfortable. Get comfortable with it.

Shit's complicated.
½ December 27, 2012
Disapointing film by Solondz. The concept of using different actors to play the same character during different chapters of the film is a great one but the movie, overall is not that good. It's certainly not crap but it lacks the certain irreverent and dark aspect of its previous films.
December 7, 2012
May watch...
½ December 5, 2012
Todd Solondz's strangest & imo weakest film
February 8, 2008
Empezando a <3 a Todd Solondz
½ November 16, 2012
Credo che sia l'opera più cinica e disturbante di uno dei più cinici e disturbanti registi americani contemporanei. La scelta stilistica è molto interessante e contribuisce a rendere la storia ancora più disorientante per lo spettatore: la protagonista, Aviva è interpretata in ciascun capitolo da atttrici diverse (in un breve capitolo persino da un attore) con fisicità, età e etnia differenti. Nell'ultimo capitolo, quello che chiude il ciclo, Aviva è interpretata da tutte le attrici dei capitoli precedenti passando da una scena all'altra. Emblematico il discorso di Mark che parla dell'uomo come essere inesorbilmente programmato nei geni e nel DNA.
November 13, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

(2004) Palindromes
DRAMA

Written and directed by Todd Solondz (Welcome to The Dollhouse)showcasing interconnecting stories involving very young girls and sex imposing predictable situations with predictable results that just drags each persons story's to pointless solutions that add up to nothing. Such themes as unwanted pragnancy, young girl wants to be a teen mom, underage girl from blue collar family wanting a baby and so forth.... And although viewers still can know what is happening by using the fast forward button while playing, out of all the stories theirs only one girls story that is authentic and that is the overweight African American girl Henrrieta (I have know idea who she's played by) since theirs a specific authenticity about using non professional actors in which some may just as well been actual victims.

2 out of 4
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