The Girl (2013)
Struggling with the loss of her child to Social Services, a single mother is trapped in the quicksand of her south Texas life. When her path collides with a young girl from Mexico, she begins a journey that will change her life - discovering that she is the architect of her own fate and learning what it is that truly defines home. (c) Official Site
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Critic Reviews for The Girl
It's unfortunate that Riker's strong central character and evocative location work get undermined, at every turn, by a plot that not only springs zero surprises, but reduces the terror and loss of Cornish's charges to mere life lessons for her.
The Girl enlightens with an unusual insight into the courage, durability and struggle of the Mexican people while taking the viewer on a guided tour of a piece of the country tourists never see.
In all aspects, The Girl can't help it-this is headline-torn cinema du tearjerking at its most generic.
Hernandez is soulful and affecting ... and Cornish embodies Ashley's self-centered character with nuance and subtlety.
"The Girl" wants to be eat-your-vegetables cinema, but vegetables are good for you. This misery fest is more like an eat-your-bark movie.
There are moving moments as Cornish channels the slow self-enlightenment necessary for Ashley's character arc. And the actress is particularly good in the scenes with the promising young Hernandez.
A sentimental shift in the last reel of the film seems artificially designed to wrap up the story and demonstrate that a life lesson has been learned. It's when it's at its most contemplative that The Girl is at its best.
[Cornish] plays Ashley with a mix of guilt and determination. And the precocious Hernandez brings an equally stubborn quality to Rosa.
There's a heartfelt tenderness for this troubled character on Riker & Cornish's part but it comes at the expense of realism or any serious answers to the questions raised by the film.
The Girl is still more "good for you" than "good," but at least it supplements its feature-length lecture with a pair of good performances and a decent payoff.
It's a spare film, but deeply felt and convincing, while bringing Cornish into a whole new light as an actress.
Too limited in scope and too predictable to transcend its social-issue movie-of-the-week roots as a tearjerker designed to play on feelings of particularly maternal independent film fans.
It's a tribute to Riker's skill as a writer and director that, even when Ashley is behaving in ways that should make her totally unlikeable, you don't completely write her off.
Unsatisfying psychological study of a neglectful mother, failing in its quest for spiritual redemption.
Audience Reviews for The Girl
I really liked this movie. If you are looking for an action-packed thriller, look somewhere else, though. This is a slower paced film about a flawed woman trying to correct her actions. The movie contrasts the sensibility and strength of a young Mexican girl, with the selfishness of the American woman. The very poor Mexican family lives with dignity, while she lives in squalor. This was a good, heartfelt film. Abbie Cornish turned in a lovely performance as always, and the little girl in this was adorable.More
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