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Tanner Hall Reviews

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Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

March 17, 2014
Mildly entertaining.
Nicki M

Super Reviewer

July 15, 2012
Okay movie, well cast. A little slower than I expected, actually pretty tame and lacking in punch.
Amy Sedaris has only a small role and she's not funny at all, which is unusual.
It's worth watching once, I guess, but can't really recommend it as it is a little on the dull side. For a similar theme done better, I would recommend The Hairy bird (Australian title -aka Strike! Or All I wanna do).
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

September 16, 2010
Cast: Rooney Mara, Georgia King, Brie Larson, Amy Ferguson, Amy Sedaris, Tom Everett Scott, Chris Kattan, Shawn Pyfrom, Annika Peterson

Director: Francesca Gregorini, Tatiana von Furstenberg

Summary: The arrival of Victoria (Georgia King), a manipulative new pupil, quickly signals the end of innocence for returning student Fernanda (Rooney Mara). In short order, the preppy, tranquil atmosphere of knee socks and cardigans at Tanner Hall gives way to a world of tangled emotions among the schoolgirls.

My Thoughts: "I wasn't sure what to expect with this movie cause I really didn't know what it was about. I think the summary of the film is deceiving. It's about these young girls becoming women. Growing into themselves and learning about themselves. The young Victoria doesn't disrupt these other young ladies innocence since they seemed a bit corrupt all on their own. Performances were fine, but the story is quite bland and has been done. Decent film, not worth a second look though."
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

July 13, 2013
On the plus side, Victoria's(Georgia King) enrolling at a new boarding school allows her to put some distance between her and her mom and to be reunited with her childhood friend Fernanda(Rooney Mara) and quickly introduced to her friends Kate(Brie Larson) and Lucasta(Amy Ferguson). On the down side, the limo driver forgot to pack her clothes, forcing her to borrow some of Fernanda's, putting some strain on their friendship when she tries to alter them without her friend's knowledge. Even worse is when it turns out that Victoria's roommate is a bed wetter.

While it seems "Tanner Hall" might desperately want to have something to say about female friendship, it instead goes off in the creepy direction of teenage women who have relationships with much older men. And it is less critical than leering. That's not to mention the epic scenes involving bed wetting and erectile dysfunction. However, it should surprise no one that Rooney Mara is the best thing going here but even she can make little difference in the end.
DrStrangeblog
DrStrangeblog

Super Reviewer

October 3, 2012
Innocuous girls' school entry with the typical bad girl entering the dorm and becomes a negative influence. Amy Sedaris offers comic relief as a bossy administrator, as for the girls I was struck by Brie Larson as the Lolita of the gang. Discomfitted to learn she came from the Disney factory but maybe she still has a decent future. Enroll your time with Cracks starring Juno Temple, Imogen Poots, and Eva Green instead for a much superior production of the darker side of sheltered dormitory life.
October 5, 2012
though this film is typical and gets lost in jumbled story lines of Students and teachers lives it is the cast that makes you stay to the end
Hamee
February 4, 2012
This is has a slightly unusual twist to the normal movies about an all girl's academy. The ending was predictable, but good. Tom Everett Scott was just plain creepy in this role.
December 14, 2011
Pretty, posh, privileged princess is jealous of another pretty, posh, privileged princess at a New England boarding school circa a time before cellphones in Tanner Hall (a film written/directed by pretty, posh, privileged Tatiana von Furstenberg [Diane's daughter]). While the film isn't a disaster, it isn't overly memorable either and if one wants to watch a movie about posh princesses at boarding schools I'd recommend the far superior 2011 release Cracks (starring Casino Royale's Eva Greene and star-on-the-rise Juno Temple). The characters in this film are all one-dimensional and made me think of a book of paper dolls. They all fit a stereotype and none of them stray from that mold -- they are all open-books (the narration of the film doesn't help, either). The only reason to see (and remember) this film is that it will be noted as "early work" of Rooney Mara (soon-to-be MEGAstar of the American remake of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network, Youth in Revolt), who does a fine job here and is notably better than this material (think Anna Kendrick in Twilight). The story if fairly simple and standard stuff -- Mara's Fernanda's life at school is forever changed with the arrival of somewhat bitter and jealous former childhood friend, Victoria (Georgia King - One Day, The Duchess, Chalet Girl), who has a vacant, loveless drunk-of-a-despicable-mother (who has made Victoria the way that she is ... duh). The writing and dialogue of Tanner Hall feels unpolished and juvenile (as if it were written by a group of girls who use "like, like" like [!] all the time) and the situations all play out EXACTLY as one would expect them too. Fernanda would be the film's moral center and goodie-goodie if she didn't persue a relationship with a married friend-of-the-family (Tom Everett Scott -- That Thing You Do, One True Thing, Because I Said So) that felt very out-of-character (I think the writers did this to try to add dimension to at least one character). An odd side-story (making the film very awkward at times) featured two of the boarding school's married teachers played by SNL alums Amy Sedaris and Chris Kattan -- I don't know if their scenes were supposed to be funny or tragic. And that sums up the film ... "what am I supposed to think about this?" Tanner Hall DOES do a very nice job of tidying up loose ends but a lot of those loose ends were unimportant to begin with. Mara IS the only reason to see this; but it is still somewhat of a waste of time ... again, see Cracks (a film I found to be surprisingly solid).
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

July 13, 2013
On the plus side, Victoria's(Georgia King) enrolling at a new boarding school allows her to put some distance between her and her mom and to be reunited with her childhood friend Fernanda(Rooney Mara) and quickly introduced to her friends Kate(Brie Larson) and Lucasta(Amy Ferguson). On the down side, the limo driver forgot to pack her clothes, forcing her to borrow some of Fernanda's, putting some strain on their friendship when she tries to alter them without her friend's knowledge. Even worse is when it turns out that Victoria's roommate is a bed wetter.

While it seems "Tanner Hall" might desperately want to have something to say about female friendship, it instead goes off in the creepy direction of teenage women who have relationships with much older men. And it is less critical than leering. That's not to mention the epic scenes involving bed wetting and erectile dysfunction. However, it should surprise no one that Rooney Mara is the best thing going here but even she can make little difference in the end.
starlett2005
July 7, 2013
Tanner Hall is a disappointing film. It is about the private world of an all-girls boarding school. Rooney Mara and Georgia King give terrible performances. The script is badly written. Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana von Furstenberg did horrible jobs directing this movie. I was not impressed with this motion picture.
Marter
April 9, 2013
Tanner Hall is the type of movie that follows a bunch of people who do nothing important throughout the entire movie and then expect us to believe that they've grown up, redeemed themselves, or otherwise changed for the better. In this case, it takes place in an all-girls boarding school, and follows the exploits of four teenagers as they begin to learn about adulthood. Kind of. It's more about them just getting into trouble and then learning from that mistake, while making inconsequential decisions in the meantime.

The lead is Fernanda (Rooney Mara), a senior at this school who longs for it whenever she's not there. She doesn't like her home life -- the reason for this is never clear -- and absolutely adores her two closes friends, Lucasta (Amy Ferguson), and Kate (Brie Larson). A fourth girl, Victoria (Georgia King), someone who was friends with Fernanda in early childhood but they haven't spoken in years, also joins the party, and before you know it, we have our characters. They all have stereotypical defining features, and soon enough they're an easygoing group.

That is, except for Victoria, who is clearly an outsider. If Fernanda is the leader of the group, her decisions must be obeyed. And since she and Victoria can't be friends, the other two girls, who are perfectly amiable with the newcomer, can't be either. It turns out that Fernanda is right, though, as Victoria's stereotype is that of a troubled young woman who takes out her internal frustrations on everyone else, making their lives miserable. Because, as we all know, misery loves company, and there's enough of it to go around.

The rest of the girls end up being impacted, one by one, by Victoria, mostly in the romance department. Fernanda falls for a married man named Gio (Tom Everett Scott), Kate flirts with everyone, including her teacher, Mr. Middlewood (Chris Kattan), who takes a deep affection with her, while Lucasta is the shy and quiet one ... for some reason, which will be revealed later on in the film, but is clearly the member of the group on whom we're not going to spend too much time.

All of these relationships and hopeful relationships are going to, in one way or another, be impacted by the meanie, Victoria. She's mean because her mother is neglectful and she hates her life. That has to be fixed in a coming-of-age flick. So does the quiet nature of Lucasta, the lustful one of Kate, and whatever it is that Fernanda is -- perhaps her dislike of Victoria. Yes, that seems like a good problem to fix. Go, movie, go!

There's nothing in Tanner Hall that you haven't seen before. It's a standard movie with absolutely nothing to set it apart from the crowd, which is a shame because it so desperately wants to be a personal film. It's purportedly based on the experiences of its writer-directors, Tatiana von Fürstenberg and Francesca Gregorini, and it has some fine young actors. It's just that the talent behind the camera wasn't enough to elevate the film beyond the generic, taking a potentially personal script and turning it standard and boring.

The reason that the archetypes are used is so that you can immediately identify and distinguish what's driving each girl forward. You can also recognize each personality easily and therefore we don't need to spend time on that. The problem comes when these characters don't develop or move away from the cliché, which is exactly what happens here. They stay the same, never evolving, until one thing happens which makes them go "Oh, hey, we should get better at life and stuff." The event -- it's different for each of them -- isn't even terribly influential; it just happens to have an impact because ... reasons, I guess.

There's no real flow to the decisions that these characters make. Making decisions on a whim is great and all, and for adolescents, it fits, but even the ones that are supposed to show how they're grown up and have changed simply appear out of nowhere. Perhaps it worked that way in real life for the writer-directors, but I'd like a sense of logic, please. It would at least establish the characters as something more than magical faeries who can do whatever they want at any time.

Tanner Hall was filmed a long time before its release, and even after appearing in various festivals, it wasn't picked up by a distributor until after Rooney Mara signed on for the American Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It's a hard film to market, so I understand that mentality. If the attempt is to showcase Mara, it doesn't quite work, as she shows nothing of promise here. Nobody really does. If they did, the script might have been elevated beyond the mediocrity that it proves to be.

Tanner Hall could have been powerful, but it falls flat because of a mediocre, easy story that doesn't provide us with any logic, characters that move beyond archetypes, or anything of value. It's a coming-of-age story where all of the transformations for these people happen on a whim, not because of the prior parts of the film. Beyond that, it's simply a dull watch that you've seen before, and better. Skip Tanner Hall.
Dave J
March 4, 2013
Monday, March 4, 2013

(2011) Tanner Hall
DRAMA

"Tanner Hall" as the title describes is kind of like a private school for teenage girls, starring Roomey Mara as Fern narrating her rebellious experience while living there. There's no natural flow regarding any of the characters and their situations which makes it much harder to identify since people do not act like this in real life. I think half the things that happened to the main character, I would've been extremely angry and would physically do something about it.

1 out of 4 stars
February 22, 2013
Ultimately not even the gifted Mara can keep the film from feeling like a gauzy portrait of privilege.
January 20, 2013
Appalling - a film about spoiled brats made by a couple of spoiled brats with no artistic merit whatsoever
December 13, 2012
Performances are solid as you can get, definitely futures for the four leads. Brie Larson, soooo hawt tho XO There isn't really a proper premise, it kinda just goes with the flow then ends. Which is why it was quite underwhelming. I'd watch it again for Brie Larson tho.
November 18, 2012
OMG this is such a false attempt to commencement a novel by j.courtney sullivan, I f i didn't know better (saying commencement was published in 2010 and this film is a 2009 release) I would say this sounds like a bad ripoff to the book, even some of the context seems totally copied from the book. The only things is commencement is an exceptional novel and this film no were nears to it. It is completely attach to a generic plot with no excitement to it. please read the book and you will see the difference between a person who knows how to develop a good, exciting and thrilling story line from a generic idea an a piece of cram narrative like this movie.
October 24, 2012
Rooney acts fine, but the story is, well...not.
July 28, 2012
Are suflet si Larson
April 13, 2012
Better than average acting, terrible screenplay. We wouldn't have lasted through the first 15 minutes, if not for the performances from Mara, King, and Larsen.
September 9, 2011
I am not a teenage girl but after watching "Tanner Hall" I think I might know what it feels like to be one. The laser-perfect ensemble cast navigates the Terra Incognita of teenage love with rare & effortless authenticity. The look is elegant. The feel is timeless. The lighting is sublime. The shots are considered & appropriate. "Tanner Hall" is a first film & has its faults. But like the intermittent pools of light dappling its dark corridors, the film possesses a rare & uplifting spirit of redemption. Chris Kattan & Amy Sedaris are hilarious. The score is innovative & emotional. "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" Rooney Mara is one of the stars & she shines. Great performances all around. Excellent Debut Film.
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