Brittany Runs a Marathon
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Weird out of the box, but an interesting look into a young girl and her mom's life - trying to find their place and friends. Girls are terrible to each other...but the mom definitely strikes the greatest blow with a really impactful ending.
The fantasy coming of age should have woven a little bit more magic into this theme that has been told and retold a countless different permutations. I somehow wasn't able to root for the protagonist enough to like this.
Good movie about growing pains, peer pressure. Kinda sad at the end.
The performances of Newmark and Scanlan apart (the appalling shortcomings of the film not being their fault at all), this was absolutely dire. A truly revolting film without any merit at all (oh, the music was quite nicely done). But ... I could waste an awful lot of time analysing it, but I won't bother. It was the very opposite of entertaining (I had to force myself to stick with it and not walk out, in the hopes that it might develop some kind of redeeming dramatic resolution.) Nor was it intellectually stimulating or thought-provoking. Incredibly, it didn't really have a social message either, it was all in a kind of puerile vacuum. I felt I'd gone back 50 years to film school, though I don't think I ever saw a film as bad at this in the three years I was at film school. I can't really think of any film in my whole life that I've enjoyed less. 92 minutes of sewage that I'm now trying to erase from my memory like a very bad dream.
It's a cruel, cruel world for kids. There are a lot of harsh truths that you never see coming, and, depending on your class status and family, they can be drastically more difficult to deal with. That's probably why Lady Bird hit so hard a year ago because intrinsic to its standard coming-of-age plot line was a subtler undercurrent of socio-economic struggle. Where many of these types of films focus almost exclusively on the protagonist's emotional state, Lady Bird and now Deborah Haywood's Pin Cushion have quite a lot to do with the mechanisms that surround the elucidation of adulthood.
Starting life fresh in a new town, Lyn (Joanna Scanlan) and her teen daughter Iona (Lily Newmark) are eccentric and in sync with each other, but the insular and catty nature of their new home drives them apart in spite of themselves. Their naive and passive proclivities give them away to the most callous inhabitants of their community, and they fall prey to an almost hyperbolic series of bullyings. This thing gets dark then darker. If I were forced to provide a point of reference for the sense of unsettling dread that permeates this movie I would immediately say Hereditary. Yet somehow Pin Cushion seems more sincere than that critically acclaimed darling of a film because however absolutely bizarre Lyn and Iona act, there isn't some silly satanic cop-out. They really are struggling with not only sanity but the absurdly vindictive society that they isolated themselves from until it was too late for them to be able to deal with it.
Much of the film focuses on Iona's experiences as she traverses her school's small social sphere like any film of this particular genre. But when she tries to fit in, she is subjected to passive aggressive agony all the way to outright slanderous hatred. That "small victory" sense of triumph characteristic of other similar set films is rarely seen. Instead we are treated to the darkest humor riddled with gorgeously shot fantasy sequences of how she would wish her life to be, so the highs are high enough that the lows are absolutely devastating. It's equal parts hilarious, depressing, and thoughtful, and it's a film that makes you want to be nicer to people.
That movie was f**k all! Wtf?!?! Little bastards cu*nts burn another human being like that and aren't even arrested?! Then the gutless mother gets a chance to bash their heads in and hangs herself?!??!?!
'Pin Cushion', is an ambitious first feature film written and directed by Deborah Haywood. In the end, it just didn't work for me. It would have made a fantastic short, but stretched and i do mean stretched to 85 minutes the premise ran much too thin. It's about bullying, but the ways it gets there are not authentic and I had trouble believing they could ever happen. Am I to believe everyone in this place has lost their ability to be tethered to reality? Why is mental illness treated so casually?
The performances of the mother and daughter, Joanna Scanlan and Lily Newmark were singularly fantastic, however, I didn't think they had chemistry when on screen together. Haywood has something to say and it's important but it gets muddled in all of the fantasy role play she inserts into the film as filler. There's a tangent to the plot that could have been done so much better. We get it the mother is getting bullied also. Stop beating us over the head and show some context. There's something about this film that sticks with you but it's more like gum to the batting of your shoe. I do look forward to future works by Haywood, perhaps ones that are a bit more developed. Final Score: 5.2/10
Deep with a strong message, Pin Cushion talks about school harrassement, hits our minds very easily... Not everyone knows what's happening, so after watching when you talk about it, you learn new things about the move !