Palindromes Reviews

  • Oct 17, 2016

    Exclusively made for those familiar with everything Todd Solondz had made up to this point.

    Exclusively made for those familiar with everything Todd Solondz had made up to this point.

  • Jun 27, 2015

    Highly misunderstood film. It is about Aviva. Solondz captures the injury of this girls heart, the fragility of her ego/ self-identity (demonstrated through using multiple actresses), and the purity of her perspective. It is a tale of a broken angel who sees the good in everyone while trying to find herself but never quite getting there. A broken dream. It is cold. Heartbreakingly cold. Very affecting film

    Highly misunderstood film. It is about Aviva. Solondz captures the injury of this girls heart, the fragility of her ego/ self-identity (demonstrated through using multiple actresses), and the purity of her perspective. It is a tale of a broken angel who sees the good in everyone while trying to find herself but never quite getting there. A broken dream. It is cold. Heartbreakingly cold. Very affecting film

  • Apr 11, 2015

    Endlessly fascinating film that acts as a third installment to the stories and characters created in WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE and HAPPINESS. This is surrealistic depiction of choices and limitations imposed from almost all aspects of our culture. At times the film works smoothly and other times the limitations of some of the actors harm the vision. But this is a film well worth viewing from an American film artist with a very unique perspective and voice.

    Endlessly fascinating film that acts as a third installment to the stories and characters created in WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE and HAPPINESS. This is surrealistic depiction of choices and limitations imposed from almost all aspects of our culture. At times the film works smoothly and other times the limitations of some of the actors harm the vision. But this is a film well worth viewing from an American film artist with a very unique perspective and voice.

  • May 14, 2014

    Interesting and different way of telling a story. But it does fall flat.

    Interesting and different way of telling a story. But it does fall flat.

  • May 01, 2014

    If you have a strong stomach, are not easily disturbed, and can see humour in the darkest of places then watch this, then read the IMDB discussions, which are equally amusing. Solondz, once again makes a film about twisted kids, which, once again, touches on Paedofilia, but the main message is surely inspired by anti-abortion campaigners. Despite the similarities to some of his other films this is a very very original movie in it's own right. The fact that the main character is played by a rotating cast of very different actresses (and possibly one actor) keeps you on your toes, as does the side-game of spot the palindrome.

    If you have a strong stomach, are not easily disturbed, and can see humour in the darkest of places then watch this, then read the IMDB discussions, which are equally amusing. Solondz, once again makes a film about twisted kids, which, once again, touches on Paedofilia, but the main message is surely inspired by anti-abortion campaigners. Despite the similarities to some of his other films this is a very very original movie in it's own right. The fact that the main character is played by a rotating cast of very different actresses (and possibly one actor) keeps you on your toes, as does the side-game of spot the palindrome.

  • Apr 27, 2014

    I've been watching Todd Solondz's films in chronological order. This one, his fourth, doesn't quite achieve the heights of Happiness, his second film, but is a significant step up from Storytelling, his tepid third film. It's as provocative and morbidly deadpan as ever, with a somewhat baffling layer of formal experimentalism overlaid the typically grotesque subject matter this time. This film follows Aviva, a 13-year-old girl who desperately wants to get pregnant. Oddly, it's mentioned that she is the cousin of Dawn Weiner, the protagonist of Solondz's first film Welcome to the Dollhouse, who we are told has just committed suicide. Aviva, who is played by eight different actresses (of varying races, ages, and genders) in the film's various chapters, does manage to get pregnant, but is pressured by her mother (Ellen Barkin) into having an abortion. Eventually she runs away and ends up living with a family run by hyper-Christian pro-life parents, who have adopted a number of deformed and unwanted children (many of whom are played by children with real deformities or otherwise crippling conditions). Other stuff happens, but I don't want to give too much away. The device of having the main character switch to a different actress every 10 or 20 minutes is definitely startling at first, but by the end of the film I was strangely used to it. The casting choice that stands out the most is Sharon Wilkins, an obese black woman who appears to be in her 30s. Most of the incarnations of Aviva are white teenage girls, except for Wilkins and Jennifer Jason Leigh, who was around 40 when she made the movie. Still, Wilkins's performance is so subdued and childlike that you quickly accept her as a 13-year-old girl, somehow. It really is a strange effect - what should seem like the ultimate Brechtian distancing device becomes, in this film, oddly natural-seeming. You never quite forget about the different-actresses issue, but it's never at the forefront of your mind, either; and you do get a sense of a consistent character across all the performances. Aside from the casting stunt, the film has all of Solondz's trademarks - grim, deadpan humor, bleak irony, pedophilia, and a refusal to easily judge his characters. On the one hand, this seems like it should come off as the ultimate nihilism - if there's no firm moral ground for the viewer to stand on amidst all this horrible stuff, what are we to hold on to? On the other hand, Solondz at his best - here and especially in Happiness - can genuinely make you empathize with people who do horrible things. So you do still feel things, but there is virtually no one you can easily identify as a good person in these films, at least among the adults. I don't know. I'm not really sure what to say about Solondz's ethics or lack thereof overall. Purely as a viewing experience, however, this film is certainly more interesting and entertaining than Storytelling, and strange enough to recommend to adventurous viewers.

    I've been watching Todd Solondz's films in chronological order. This one, his fourth, doesn't quite achieve the heights of Happiness, his second film, but is a significant step up from Storytelling, his tepid third film. It's as provocative and morbidly deadpan as ever, with a somewhat baffling layer of formal experimentalism overlaid the typically grotesque subject matter this time. This film follows Aviva, a 13-year-old girl who desperately wants to get pregnant. Oddly, it's mentioned that she is the cousin of Dawn Weiner, the protagonist of Solondz's first film Welcome to the Dollhouse, who we are told has just committed suicide. Aviva, who is played by eight different actresses (of varying races, ages, and genders) in the film's various chapters, does manage to get pregnant, but is pressured by her mother (Ellen Barkin) into having an abortion. Eventually she runs away and ends up living with a family run by hyper-Christian pro-life parents, who have adopted a number of deformed and unwanted children (many of whom are played by children with real deformities or otherwise crippling conditions). Other stuff happens, but I don't want to give too much away. The device of having the main character switch to a different actress every 10 or 20 minutes is definitely startling at first, but by the end of the film I was strangely used to it. The casting choice that stands out the most is Sharon Wilkins, an obese black woman who appears to be in her 30s. Most of the incarnations of Aviva are white teenage girls, except for Wilkins and Jennifer Jason Leigh, who was around 40 when she made the movie. Still, Wilkins's performance is so subdued and childlike that you quickly accept her as a 13-year-old girl, somehow. It really is a strange effect - what should seem like the ultimate Brechtian distancing device becomes, in this film, oddly natural-seeming. You never quite forget about the different-actresses issue, but it's never at the forefront of your mind, either; and you do get a sense of a consistent character across all the performances. Aside from the casting stunt, the film has all of Solondz's trademarks - grim, deadpan humor, bleak irony, pedophilia, and a refusal to easily judge his characters. On the one hand, this seems like it should come off as the ultimate nihilism - if there's no firm moral ground for the viewer to stand on amidst all this horrible stuff, what are we to hold on to? On the other hand, Solondz at his best - here and especially in Happiness - can genuinely make you empathize with people who do horrible things. So you do still feel things, but there is virtually no one you can easily identify as a good person in these films, at least among the adults. I don't know. I'm not really sure what to say about Solondz's ethics or lack thereof overall. Purely as a viewing experience, however, this film is certainly more interesting and entertaining than Storytelling, and strange enough to recommend to adventurous viewers.

  • Aug 02, 2013

    I'm completely puzzled by the low ratings for this film. This is a sort of sequel to WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE that ventures further into American culture and hypocrisy. Utilizing some great performances, insightful characterizations and surrealism - Solondz has created a uniquely American take on life. Powerful work. I consider this film to be a masterpiece. I must be in the minority. Mention must be made of Jennifer Jason Leigh's brilliant and all-too brief performance.

    I'm completely puzzled by the low ratings for this film. This is a sort of sequel to WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE that ventures further into American culture and hypocrisy. Utilizing some great performances, insightful characterizations and surrealism - Solondz has created a uniquely American take on life. Powerful work. I consider this film to be a masterpiece. I must be in the minority. Mention must be made of Jennifer Jason Leigh's brilliant and all-too brief performance.

  • Jul 28, 2013

    An interesting experiment, if not an interesting story.

    An interesting experiment, if not an interesting story.

  • Jun 19, 2013

    Todd Solondz's installment on innocence lost is a brim tale about a girl's incessant quest to get pregnant and be a mother. Uncomfortable to watch, to say the least, it also fails to fascinate, as in WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE and HAPPINESS.

    Todd Solondz's installment on innocence lost is a brim tale about a girl's incessant quest to get pregnant and be a mother. Uncomfortable to watch, to say the least, it also fails to fascinate, as in WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE and HAPPINESS.

  • May 01, 2013

    Palindromes is frustrating at times, but it is also a brutal, ethically challenging picture, that you leave feeling there are 'no right answers'.

    Palindromes is frustrating at times, but it is also a brutal, ethically challenging picture, that you leave feeling there are 'no right answers'.