Blue Car 2003

Blue Car

Critics Consensus

A cautionary tale that rings true.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 89

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,517

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Movie Info

Meg is a gifted but emotionally scarred 18-year-old. Meg finds solace in writing poetry. Mr. Auster, her English teacher, recognizes her talent and steps into the role of mentor and father figure, encouraging her to enter a national poetry contest for which he is a judge. As tension at home escalates and Meg struggles to find a way to get to the poetry finals in Florida, Auster's role in her life becomes increasingly complex.

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Critic Reviews for Blue Car

All Critics (89) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (71) | Rotten (18)

Audience Reviews for Blue Car

  • Nov 25, 2009
    Karen Moncrieff is the best American filmmaker you've never heard of. It's ridiculous that her work is so little talked about. "Blue Car," her first film, at times borders on greatness. It drifts into pretentiousness and preciousness one too many times, but for a filmmaker to get close to greatness her first time out is nothing short of amazing. (Moncrieff, I should point out, got even closer to greatness with her second film, the bizarrely under-rated "The Dead Girl," which I consider the second-best film of 2006, after Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain.") "Blue Car" tells a delicate story of an exceptionally bright teenage girl cast adrift by a self-absorbed mother who barely notices when she's in the room. The girl retreats into herself, explores sad memories of being abandoned by her father, and ends up penning poetry that dazzles and frightens her intelligent but lonely English teacher (played beautifully by David Strathairn.) He volunteers to coach her after school to develop her poetry even further, and so begins a journey that sometimes is too beautiful and too painful for both of them. The film gets sidetracked into a separate drama concerning the girl's younger sister, which weakens the film and makes its sadness a bit over-thick. But the journey of discovery that the girl and man go on is at times the stuff of great literature. Actress Agnes Bruckner gives a breakthrough performance as the girl, and it is beyond belief that she wasn't nominated for an Oscar. Her work is so good that I venture to say that hers is the best teenage acting performance of the decade. "Blue Car" helps to remind us how life-changing and essential friendships between teenagers and adults can be -- but also how overwhelming and destabilizing they can be. As tough as these relationships are -- for both parties -- they are often the crucible in which new life, and new art, is born.
    William D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 16, 2008
    Incredible, powerful, and extremely sad, one only hopes that the strength that Meg (Agnes Bruckner) finds at the end is enough to carry her through. My heart broke for her. A child of divorced parents who don't get along, Meg is ignored by her father and taken for granted by her mother. Meanwhile, her sister is losing touch with reality and the mother is oblivious to the warning signs until it is too late. All of this makes Meg easily susceptible to the attentions of her AP English teacher (David Strathairn), whose intentions may have been honorable at first, but who ultimately takes advantage of her vulnerability and betrays her trust. All of this however inspires her to a new honesty in her art and forces her to take stock of her life and hopefully begin again. Ms Bruckner gave her character just enough Lolita to make the May-December thing believable. Her need to be taken seriously and for acceptance blinded her to the dishonesty of others and made her susceptible to numerous betrayals. Don't believe the marketing hype. This is no teen sexploitation film. It is a tender, well done, coming of age film about a young poet finding her voice through layers upon layers of tragedy.
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Sep 15, 2007
    I thought this was a really good movie, but it was so sad, really sad. Agnes Bruckner (The Woods) owns this film, she's fantastic as Meg. Margaret Colin was pretty good as the mother, she was even a little creepy at times, not an easy role but she pulled it off quite well. David Strathairn was excellent as the teacher Mr. Auster, who encourages Meg and her poetry. Sure you can see where the student/teacher relationship is headed. She is using him as a father figure to start with and obviously that progresses, as her home life basically goes down the shitter. I really felt for Meg, what she went through, her loss, very sad and very moving.
    Marcey I Super Reviewer
  • Oct 20, 2006
    Okay, so are all English teachers this, uh, disturb . . ed . . . ing? Let us hope not. Yikes! David, you are well-done creepy here, buddy. Yes, quite an unsettling performance from David Strathairn as the, uh, overly supportive English teacher. No doubt, however, that this is Bruckner's film. A very genuine emotional portrayal of a young woman struggling to cope with -- and because of -- her dysfunctional family.
    Lanning : Super Reviewer

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