Palindromes - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Palindromes Reviews

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December 7, 2012
May watch...
½ December 5, 2012
Todd Solondz's strangest & imo weakest film
December 3, 2012
Empezando a <3 a Todd Solondz
½ November 16, 2012
Credo che sia l'opera più cinica e disturbante di uno dei più cinici e disturbanti registi americani contemporanei. La scelta stilistica è molto interessante e contribuisce a rendere la storia ancora più disorientante per lo spettatore: la protagonista, Aviva è interpretata in ciascun capitolo da atttrici diverse (in un breve capitolo persino da un attore) con fisicità, età e etnia differenti. Nell'ultimo capitolo, quello che chiude il ciclo, Aviva è interpretata da tutte le attrici dei capitoli precedenti passando da una scena all'altra. Emblematico il discorso di Mark che parla dell'uomo come essere inesorbilmente programmato nei geni e nel DNA.
November 13, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

(2004) Palindromes

Written and directed by Todd Solondz (Welcome to The Dollhouse)showcasing interconnecting stories involving very young girls and sex imposing predictable situations with predictable results that just drags each persons story's to pointless solutions that add up to nothing. Such themes as unwanted pragnancy, young girl wants to be a teen mom, underage girl from blue collar family wanting a baby and so forth.... And although viewers still can know what is happening by using the fast forward button while playing, out of all the stories theirs only one girls story that is authentic and that is the overweight African American girl Henrrieta (I have know idea who she's played by) since theirs a specific authenticity about using non professional actors in which some may just as well been actual victims.

2 out of 4
½ August 26, 2012
Another movie from the master of uncomfortable movies! It doesn't disappoint!
July 23, 2012
It's been nine years and in the beginning of this film we see a dedication to Dawn Wiener. The first scene is at Dawn's funeral and we find out that she has just killed herself. After watching Welcome to the Dollhouse there really isn't much question as to why she has ended her own life. Things never looked up for her. Now Aviva is scared that she will turn into Dawn. She is Dawn's cousin, after all. What if her mother one day stops loving her? What if everyone hates her? Well, she must have a baby because that child will never be able to not love her. The rest of the film has the Solondz trademark. We should not be laughing during a film of an emotionally troubled 13-year-old girl who wants to have baby, and yet we do. Aviva doesn't care about sex. Not one bit. She's 13 and what girl of that age is interested in sex? She meets Judah who she ends up having sex with and asks him to finish the job inside her, which leads to her getting pregnant. Of course her parents aren't happy and want her to get an abortion. This leads to an emotional piece by Ellen Barkin who tells her daughter that she had an abortion once after she had Aviva because they weren't financially capable of raising another child. I thought it was funny she explains that she took her to an N'SYNC concert then later she becomes part of a Christian family band that's highly reminiscent of N'SYNC. There are 8 different Aviva's in this story and each of them are tied together by something her cousin Mark Wiener says later in the film. When Joyce explains that her son was going to be named Henry, that Aviva's segment is called Henry. Then after she gets her abortion she begins to call herself Henrietta because her baby was going to be a girl. There's a segment called Huckleberry where Aviva is seen running away and even takes a boat down a river. After this segment she turns into a big black woman during the Mama Sunshine segment. Sharon Wilkins puts on one heck of a performance. I felt like I was actually watching a little girl trapped in a different body. All the children that live with Mama Sunshine have been rescued from worse living situations. Peter Paul says he has to have mucus sucked out of him every night, a girl is blind and addicted to drugs because her mom was a drug addict, one girl has no arms, etc. They have all been saved in Christ because of Mama Sunshine. They believe in the love of life and preserving life no matter what. Mama Sunshine might seem like she can actually be strict against abortion because she has saved those whose mothers tried to abort them. She shows that a difficult life is better living than none at all, which is something that Aviva can stand behind. She still hates thinking that she aborted her baby. But even so, I'm not sure if Mama Sunshine actually knows this, but the men in her house murder abortion doctors. Aviva goes on a trip to kill her abortion doctor with the man she believes she loves, but he accidentally kills a little girl along with the doctor. He realizes his sin as it happens and can't believe what he's done. He says he's going to hell and can't be saved anymore, so he stands in front of the cops with a gun in his hands. The segment with Jennifer Jason Leigh really nails down this film. She speaks to Mark who tells her that no matter what people are always the same. You might get a sex change, go tanning, get older, but if you are an optimist then you will always be one. If you are a cynic that will never change. You can pretend, but what's at the core of you will always be the same. That's why Aviva keeps changing. It shows that all of these different looking people have the same problems as her. We can all relate to her on some core level. Through all of these questions of abortion Solondz seems to not have an answer for what's right or wrong. Instead he tries to show that we all are out to do what is right for us. At first it seemed like a cynical movie, but after thinking about it I found much hope and humanity.
½ July 17, 2012
With this, Ive completed the todd solondz filmography, this one is definitely his most unique, and from what i gather his most personal, it also differs the most from his other films, its got a lot of his usual trademarks (awkward humor, jews) but here he employs the tactic of having like 10 girls play the same character, theres no real purpose like with im not there, since its all the same story, so idk what it really represented, also the tone of this gets quite dark and dramatic at times, moreso than usual, dealing with abortion, pedophilia, disabilities and other problems, it shows the faults of christian groups but also shows the good they can do, it shows both sides of the abortion issue, with all this going on, i felt it never really found a coherent consistent voice, but i did find it very watchable, always wanting to know where it would go next, just go in with an open mind i guess
July 8, 2012
Sure, these are just a series of oddly life affirming stories that nobody cares about, but Todd Solondz is so literate when it comes to screenwriting and directing. It's obvious that this film has meaning, just as all of his films do, but it's just a matter if it is too much or just enough. But, with Solondz film "Happiness", he analyzed life with just the title. It is a reoccurring theme with Solondz. While there are other themes he touches upon, he is right that life is about happiness. Now, just about every film out there is about that, but Solondz loves to deliver it on a silver platter. His disturbing imagery just adds to the extreme of every person's want for happiness. This film in particular isn't any "Happiness" or "Welcome to the Dollhouse", but it is just Solondz telling the stories he loves to tell, but in a more creative way. Just about as equal as "Storytelling".
June 5, 2012
One of the srangest comedies ever. It's a bizzare look at aviva and her misadventures. Palindromes looks at themes like identity and morality. He leaves no stone unturned and in the process cuts deep. It's funny disturbing and elightening. Yes he goes to far, but much like borat thats the whole point.
June 3, 2012
Offbeat and creepy with brilliant insights into humanity and society.
½ May 20, 2012
Todd Solondz come in with another weird movie that makes you think. Not my favorite Solondz film, but it still punches you in the face with weirdness and satire themes. With the lead role being played by a few different actors this film is a must see.
May 19, 2012
This is one of those films that leaves you absolutely speechless at the end. Not because of it's brilliance or anything, but because it totally messes with your head. Actually, this film may be brilliant, I just can't get my head completely around it.
April 14, 2012
saw this movie a long time ago, it was pretty good, but i could never remember the name and it's been killin me for years.
½ February 28, 2012
From the second "Palindromes" opens, at the funeral of Solandz's "Welcome to the Dollhouse" protagonist Dawn Weiner, the film reaches into your gut, grabs ahold of your intestines, and will not let go. Not even during the end credits, not when the music finally stops playing, not until you've left the theater and are sitting safely in your car. At not one point is there a resting place, a spot to catch your breath and reconcile in some way with the content you've been subjected to. And, dealing with abortion, statutory rape, premature adolescent sex, child molestation and a shallow mother-daughter relationship to name a few, the content anything but digestible. Which is not say that there's anything wrong with that in and of itself. It's that it's agressive, in a relentless way, in an inconclusive way, and perhaps in an unrealistic way that makes the film hard to like? Pin down? Understand? I'm still at a loss.

The first third of the film is powerful and almost beautiful. The way Solondz deals with abortion and a teenage girl's developmental desire to have a child, a desire that started when she was a small child and one that garnered her affection and tenderness (approval) from her mother. The gender issues are interesting, touching, and not something I've seen before in a film. But after, roughly, Act II, when Aviva, the main character, decides to run away, the film spirals in a gut wrenching and paralyzing play at complex issues portrayed in a superficial and incredibly uncomfortable way. Aviva becomes a sort of post-modern Alice who's fallen down a rabbit hole of lostness due to her (forced) abortion and possibly the fractured and disconnected relationship she has with her parents. It seems at first glance to be a sort of "coming of age" initiation into sex, rape, and murder, but, sadly, disappointingly, Aviva runs the dangerous risk of never coming of age at all. Perhaps this is true to some sort of contemporary existentialism -- where, in today's world of Amber Alerts, teenage kidnapping, and high statistics of sex-trafficking "in your own backyard", it can feel as if in the 21st Century, there is no more there there. This is certainly true for Aviva, who never changes, is never initiated into epiphany by her misadventures and tremendous grief and confusion, never develops a voice that can speak on her own behalf, other than to tell her mother to invite her former quasi foster mother, who's husband sent a man, the man who statutorily rapes Aviva at a truck stop motel, to kill the doctor who provided Aviva with her abortion - an abortion that left her without a uterus. And what kinds of storytelling is this?

"Palindromes" seems to fall into the category of post-modern "art films" that depict explicit exploitation of young females, in a way reminiscent of home-made kiddy porn, follow the girl along an endless trail of abuse and neglect, and never, at one point, does the character object, defend, intuit, voice her feelings, or act on her own behalf. It's a fabulous way of pretending to tell a story from a (abused) person's point of view without giving them a point of view at all. I find this kind of powerlessness in such film circumstances irresponsibly story telling. Solondz subjects the viewer, to what, I'm still not certain. And perhaps "giving" a point of view or "acting on her own behalf" are too much to ask for a child. And let us not forget by the end of the film, that Aviva, despite her cunning and sexual bravado, is still, very much, a child.
February 13, 2012
Decided to watch this after seeing Happiness. Interesting indie movie but trying to decipher what the main character is going through when being given appearances might drive you crazy.
Super Reviewer
February 7, 2012
Solondz' best move in my opinion. The use of radically different performers to play the lead is absolutely fascinating to see in action and adds to the universality of the message.
½ February 7, 2012
Todd Solondz sure pushes the envelope once again, as if that is what really makes his signature work. Although I liked this film alot, there a certain points about Solondz work that I find very distressing and almost eiry. For the bio of this films, Solondz quotes 'I make comedies with a touch of darkness.' Well if this is meant to be a comedy it is the ultimate stab at sarcism or very, very sick joke.
Palindromes is an excellent story, and originally made using various different girls set into the same character of Aviva(I think this to highlight the fact that this story could happen to anyone whether race, size or looks.). Other characters throughout film are excellent as well, with Ellen Barkin playing the highly emotional yet honestly real character of Aviva's mother, a performance by an actress I haven't seen in awhile. But throughtout the film, it cannot be undermined that the real performance here(although behind the camera) is Todd Solondz. Palindromes should stir heaps of emotions and show different angles to the often untalked about issues faced in this film. But once again it has some eiry bits which I cannot seem to figure out like why the film starts displaying with a jewish funeral(I understand who its for, but why it needs to be shown) then finishes with the theme song from the born again christian handicapped group. Whether it does or not, I don't know, but Palindromes ultimately looks like it's making fun at alot of people, yet seems to balance it out highlighting their own hypocrisy and stupidity.
I liked this more than 'Happiness', even though it's hard to actually admit you like it, even for someone who considers themselves dark and realistic as me. Palindormes is extremely well made and should definitely leave a few little marks tattooed in your thoughts. Whether this is Solondz's plan, who know? Either way although I appreciate his efforts to push the boundaries, I'm suspicious of Todd Solondz and where he stands ethically and morally in stories such as this and Happiness.
December 25, 2011
It was just a little too weird for me. I only really appreciated when the one character said at the end that people don't change and they may think they do but they really don't. I like when movies put in insightful and philosophical lines like that.
December 17, 2011
Its amazing when the movie was over and i thought about all the heinous and shocking acts that have happened but while it was going on i just didn't care. This is easily the worst film Solondz has done. Having 8 different people play the lead character in a film called 'Palindromes' where the character is named Aviva is an idea so small and light that i'm shocked Solondz used it and even more surprised its the front running theme in his film.
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