this picture of dramatic provocateur kept me viewing whereas another film of it's typecast i would not have endured. the genre product is simple enough to 'usually' fall asleep to though the performances enlightened another dimension, gave depth to plot as it traversed a bumpy character based loop de loop revolving this girls troubled time in life or grasping the individualistic nature of it.
*spoiler alert** to not bestow one opinionated issues upon everyone else mayhaps be that nature of bond. yet is it a spoiler at all
And, why Anna Paquin always picks nasty roles like this?
Or, why does she always deliver her characters in such nuisance way??
I could write a term paper about this movie, and at nearly 3 hours there is plenty of material. With the many hysterical outbursts it's probably a difficult film for a lot of people to enjoy but I was rapt in the characters and story. Credit goes to an outstanding cast - I was only interested in the first place because of Paquin, and she in mostly commanding in a thoroughly draining role - and exceptional writing with an ear for dialogue that captures how people really talk and think. Another theme is perception, and how different viewpoints can come to opposite conclusions with the same information, whether due to generational or cultural or any number of other gaps. New York is also given time to inhabit the screen and leave an indelible mark as a character, although I could have done with fewer camera pans of buildings.
The law takes an important part in the story and the movie examines the complicated issues the way great lawsuit movies like 'Erin Brockovich' do, on a ground level during conversations over coffee that everyone can understand instead of during boring courtroom speeches. The complications are fascinatingly distasteful. For instance, if the woman had survived for several days before dying, that would have increased the call for damages significantly. On the other hand, she was consciously clinging to life for several minutes, which calls for a greater monetary reward than someone killed outright.
The bulk of the time is spent with Lisa trying to come to terms with what she thinks she's done. She drifts away from her best friends at school and mother, a concerned but neurotic and neglectful stage actress, and spends more time with her math teacher and the victim's best friend. Her cement mixer of emotions also leads her to her first sexual experience in a starkly tender scene of nervousness and anticipation. That was unexpected, which is a big part of what I admired about this film: it continuously strives to find unconventional footing in scene setups that are very familiar and yet the outcomes are very organic. Not everything works, particularly the direction she takes with her math teacher played by Matt Damon didn't jibe. As she experiences this rapid growth cycle, she eventually finds her way back to her innate connection with her mother.
"In this country, this is how we punish people who have done bad things."
"By getting money from from their employer's insurance companies??"
My thoughts after finally getting to see it on TV? Thank goodness I never actually purchased it!
Don't get me wrong, acting is good. Story is interesting, but it's sooo long, and Anna's character is a brat I couldn't stand.
When she starts rallying to get the bus driver sacked over the accident she caused, I knew I just couldn't with her character. She's always yelling too, just wanted to slap the little madam. Lol.
So, yes, ambitious and well made little movie, but definitely not one to rewatch.(For me, anyhow).
what a pretentious, pointless waste of time. i want that 3 hours of my life back!
Having Anna Paquin in my face for two-and-half-hours trying to act in this tragic growing-up melodrama surrounding made my life miserable for the moment... the story of Lisa Cohen started really well, but very soon this privileged teen living in New York City who experiences a loss of innocence, both literally and figuratively, after witnessing a bus running over a woman, became a real mess.
If you are interested in seeing some bad and loud acting from Paquin without real expression of emotions, a story which is mostly obnoxious and solutions flighty, and talented but underutilized supporting cast, go and waste 2.5 hours on it.