Madeline's Madeline

Critics Consensus

Madeline's Madeline proves experimental cinema is alive and well -- and serves as a powerful calling card for Helena Howard in her big-screen debut.



Reviews Counted: 99

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Average Rating: 3.2/5

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Movie Info

Madeline (newcomer Helena Howard) has become an integral part of a prestigious physical theater troupe. When the workshop's ambitious director (Molly Parker) pushes the teenager to weave her rich interior world and troubled history with her mother (Miranda July) into their collective art, the lines between performance and reality begin to blur. The resulting battle between imagination and appropriation rips out of the rehearsal space and through all three women's lives.

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Critic Reviews for Madeline's Madeline

All Critics (99) | Top Critics (23)

Audience Reviews for Madeline's Madeline

Decker's usual directing style and artsy-fartsy mannerisms become organic for a story about mental illness, making us share the character's dissociation, but the film is sadly uneven, with almost as many brilliant moments as obvious ones and not really going anywhere in the end.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

It's not difficult to see and appreciate the intent of director Josephine Decker's Madeline's Madeline, an artsy, indie movie about artsy, indie people, but it is difficult to become immersed in their world when the message about the process and the craft-no matter how vital the performances or justified the feelings-fails to be intriguing to anyone beyond this realm. I love to write, I love the creative process, and while acting terrifies me I find a person's ability to give themselves over to the confidence it takes to embody something other than who they're already trying to work up the confidence to embody completely admirable. And yet, Helena Howard's titular Madeline never comes off as a performer authentic in her love of the craft, but more a young and impressionable soul struck by the mystic intangibility of what being an actor means. Madeline's Madeline tries its damnedest to sidestep ones expectations of any kind of formula within its filmmaking, but in the process of avoiding such trademarks it forgets to create one of its own that both demystifies and enlightens the audience as to why they should care as much about the method as they should the final, prepared version presented on screen. In other words, I just didn't get it.

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer

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