Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (13)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (12)
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"The Girl in the Book" proves to be anything but a page-turner.
From time to time, Cohn allows a few rays of light to penetrate the gloom and suggest that Alice may find a way transcend her despair. It's a small measure of relief from the overall mood of hopelessness.
The director, Ms. Cohn, making her feature debut, wrote the script and handily keeps the story's many elements in motion.
VanCamp gives a layered, memorable performance, while writer/director Marya Cohn, making her feature debut, has crafted a nonlinear story that artfully tiptoes between cliche and truth.
Though its resolution is a bit pat, most of "The Girl in the Book" is a smart and pointed look at abuses of power and roles women too often play in the literary world.
As Alice, VanCamp is exceptional, eliciting our sympathy even when the character is making maddeningly self-destructive decisions.
Fittingly, at a time when the issue of sexual harassment is more urgent and raw than ever, this subtly compelling drama portrays a young woman grappling with the long-term repercussions of her teenage encounters with a predatory older man.
For a for a first feature-length film from Cohn, it's a great showing and leaves you wanting to know want Cohn will do next.
Cohn ... adeptly balances elements of contemporary romantic comedy and scathing cultural criticism in a film that is obviously deeply personal and simultaneously universal.
So unpretentious that it could be accused of lacking style or vigor, writer-director Marya Cohn's maturely conceived, Kickstarter-budgeted debut swaps genders on the more traditionally male-driven story of a stunted coming-of-age.
[The filmmakers] lend the film's overall impact the alert observational intelligence of a first-rate short story.
Cohn displays deep sympathy with her protagonist's intersecting emotional crises, scripting a narrative that's intensely perceptive without becoming mired in mawkishness.
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