Welcome to the Dollhouse Reviews

  • Jun 26, 2019

    A wonderful coming to age story of a young teen who is socially awkward, has an inattentive homelife and low self esteem. Obviously with some gritty, real-life experiences some teens go through.

    A wonderful coming to age story of a young teen who is socially awkward, has an inattentive homelife and low self esteem. Obviously with some gritty, real-life experiences some teens go through.

  • May 24, 2019

    The pains of being a 12 year old outcast rarely receive an accurate, intimate portrayal on screen but Todd Solondz was able to produce a funny film that never shies away from the cruelty of the world. I'm only a few years removed from the experiences that the protagonist faces myself and all of her anguish and fear and frustration was relatable. The film was also just 87 minutes and never outstayed it's welcome making it a pleasant watching experience that won't take up too much of your time. I haven't seen any of Solondz's other work but I am looking forward to watching Happiness (1998) and Life During Wartime (2009). Dawn Wiener, Heather Matarazzo, is an awkward twelve year old who is overlooked by her parents, Angela Pietropinto and Bill Buell, who clearly favor her ballerina younger sister Missy, Daria Kalinina. At school she is bullied by her fellow students but attracts the attention of the abusive Brandon, Brendan Sexton III, who threatens to ‘rape' her even as she pines over her dorky older brother's band mate Steve, Eric Mabius. When her younger sister goes missing due to a mistake that she makes her life is sent into a tailspin and she struggles to confront her fears. The plotlines in the film feel new and refreshing and refreshing as Dawn actually is legitimately dorky and the abuse that her parents dish out is subtle but still very much present. The chocolate cake scene was a perfect illustration of a neglectful mother as I have had similar disagreements with my mother several times but she would never flaunt the fact that she offered chocolate cake to my siblings instead of me. I've never had a boyfriend and much like Dawn, I feel uncomfortable about my body but Matarazzo looks like a regular person and her response to direct criticism about her looks was realistic. Unlike a John Hughes movie the ugly girl is believably unattractive and she doesn't magically transform into a Molly Ringwald lookalike. The treatment of Dawn's relationship with Brandon was also sweet as we see that he's immature and is trying to act like a tough guy from the movies when he attempts to seduce her. When she shows up to meet after he threatens to "rape" it seemed like a believable reaction from an awkward teenage girl just looking for approval. We get backstory about Brandon having a mentally delayed brother and it is implied that his home life may be abusive or just difficult due to shortage in finances. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that we didn't get a sex scene between the two of them, that would have been awkward, but instead they just drift apart as we see her progressing and him staying the same. Matarazzo's performance is what really sells the character as she seems almost like a predecessor to Elsie Fisher in Eighth Grade (2018). She delivers her lines nervously but a ferociousness is clear under her submission to her mother's will. She is sympathetic even as she considers whether to kill her younger sister whom she envies whereas a less talented actress would make this consideration seem unforgivable. As her mother, Pietropinto excels as she coddles her little princess, tolerates her son and is either apathetic towards her daughter or desperately tries to cover how much she dislikes her. Sexton Jr. is hilarious as the boy who just wants to be loved hiding behind his aggression and Kalinina is perfectly cast as on object of envy for our main character. The actors are playing characters who do unbelievably nasty things and yet it is fun watching them be so awful to one another, a unique achievement. This is a beautiful coming of age story put to the screen that is mean and unfair in all of the ways that real life experiences are. Matarazzo is a revelation, unfortunately her most significant future roles would be in The Princess Diaries (2001) and The Princes Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement (2004), while some lesser known actors give great supporting performances. Solondz would go on to command rave reviews for his later, bigger budget work but this is a great debut effort.

    The pains of being a 12 year old outcast rarely receive an accurate, intimate portrayal on screen but Todd Solondz was able to produce a funny film that never shies away from the cruelty of the world. I'm only a few years removed from the experiences that the protagonist faces myself and all of her anguish and fear and frustration was relatable. The film was also just 87 minutes and never outstayed it's welcome making it a pleasant watching experience that won't take up too much of your time. I haven't seen any of Solondz's other work but I am looking forward to watching Happiness (1998) and Life During Wartime (2009). Dawn Wiener, Heather Matarazzo, is an awkward twelve year old who is overlooked by her parents, Angela Pietropinto and Bill Buell, who clearly favor her ballerina younger sister Missy, Daria Kalinina. At school she is bullied by her fellow students but attracts the attention of the abusive Brandon, Brendan Sexton III, who threatens to ‘rape' her even as she pines over her dorky older brother's band mate Steve, Eric Mabius. When her younger sister goes missing due to a mistake that she makes her life is sent into a tailspin and she struggles to confront her fears. The plotlines in the film feel new and refreshing and refreshing as Dawn actually is legitimately dorky and the abuse that her parents dish out is subtle but still very much present. The chocolate cake scene was a perfect illustration of a neglectful mother as I have had similar disagreements with my mother several times but she would never flaunt the fact that she offered chocolate cake to my siblings instead of me. I've never had a boyfriend and much like Dawn, I feel uncomfortable about my body but Matarazzo looks like a regular person and her response to direct criticism about her looks was realistic. Unlike a John Hughes movie the ugly girl is believably unattractive and she doesn't magically transform into a Molly Ringwald lookalike. The treatment of Dawn's relationship with Brandon was also sweet as we see that he's immature and is trying to act like a tough guy from the movies when he attempts to seduce her. When she shows up to meet after he threatens to "rape" it seemed like a believable reaction from an awkward teenage girl just looking for approval. We get backstory about Brandon having a mentally delayed brother and it is implied that his home life may be abusive or just difficult due to shortage in finances. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that we didn't get a sex scene between the two of them, that would have been awkward, but instead they just drift apart as we see her progressing and him staying the same. Matarazzo's performance is what really sells the character as she seems almost like a predecessor to Elsie Fisher in Eighth Grade (2018). She delivers her lines nervously but a ferociousness is clear under her submission to her mother's will. She is sympathetic even as she considers whether to kill her younger sister whom she envies whereas a less talented actress would make this consideration seem unforgivable. As her mother, Pietropinto excels as she coddles her little princess, tolerates her son and is either apathetic towards her daughter or desperately tries to cover how much she dislikes her. Sexton Jr. is hilarious as the boy who just wants to be loved hiding behind his aggression and Kalinina is perfectly cast as on object of envy for our main character. The actors are playing characters who do unbelievably nasty things and yet it is fun watching them be so awful to one another, a unique achievement. This is a beautiful coming of age story put to the screen that is mean and unfair in all of the ways that real life experiences are. Matarazzo is a revelation, unfortunately her most significant future roles would be in The Princess Diaries (2001) and The Princes Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement (2004), while some lesser known actors give great supporting performances. Solondz would go on to command rave reviews for his later, bigger budget work but this is a great debut effort.

  • May 25, 2017

    oh my god, i love this movie so much.

    oh my god, i love this movie so much.

  • Feb 04, 2017

    This is the story of a normal, average looking, adolescent girl and her struggles through her first year of junior high. Unlike the critics and most other who've seen this, I did not find it engaging or nostalgic. In fact, it elicited very little in the way of anything from me. I just coasted through it, never connecting with any characters or even situations. I did like the singing of Steve Rogers (Eric Mabius) and thought the title song was pretty catchy.

    This is the story of a normal, average looking, adolescent girl and her struggles through her first year of junior high. Unlike the critics and most other who've seen this, I did not find it engaging or nostalgic. In fact, it elicited very little in the way of anything from me. I just coasted through it, never connecting with any characters or even situations. I did like the singing of Steve Rogers (Eric Mabius) and thought the title song was pretty catchy.

  • Jan 30, 2017

    Middle school.... looks like I had it easy.

    Middle school.... looks like I had it easy.

  • Sep 24, 2016

    Solondz really makes suburban America a really dark place. This is at times is disturbing, brutal and extremely funny. A young Heather Matarazzo is excellent in the lead. What really struck me most about this flick, was that nearly everyone in it was a complete and utter cunt.

    Solondz really makes suburban America a really dark place. This is at times is disturbing, brutal and extremely funny. A young Heather Matarazzo is excellent in the lead. What really struck me most about this flick, was that nearly everyone in it was a complete and utter cunt.

  • May 17, 2016

    If you're ever looking for reasons why growing up sucks, look no further than "Welcome to the Dollhouse," Todd Solodz's fascinating breakout dark comedy.

    If you're ever looking for reasons why growing up sucks, look no further than "Welcome to the Dollhouse," Todd Solodz's fascinating breakout dark comedy.

  • Jan 28, 2016

    cinegeek.de Our Daily Free Stream: Todd Solondz - Welcome To The Dollhouse. Welcome To The Dollhouse erinnert uns mit brutaler Genauigkeit an die Schulzeit. Viele Filme behandeln diese Zeit als eine Art Paradies des Heranwachsens. Dieser Film dagegen wirkt wie ein Schock, denn wir sehen, wie grausam Kinder gegeneinander sein können - und wie tief diese Wunden wirken! Wohl jeder hat noch die Gesichter vor Augen der Schüler, die uns damals quälten. Würden wir ihnen heute auf der Strasse begegnen - könnten wir ihnen vergeben? Auf der anderen Seite; wie viele Kinder haben wir selbst erniedrigt und gedemütigt? Ich denke, dieser Hass wirkt nach bis heute. Heather Matarazzo spielt Dawn Wiener. Sie ist ausgesprochen unbeliebt, ihre Brille sitzt schief, die Frisur, die Gesichtsfarbe und die Klamotten: Nichts passt. Dawn ist ein hoffnungsloser Geek. Wir erleben sie während eines qualvollen Rituals in der Cafeteria mit beladenem Tablett: Sie sucht einen Tisch, an dem sie nicht zurückgewiesen wird, weit weg von allen, unbemerkt. Ihr Spitzname: "Wiener Dog", manchmal auch "Lesbo" oder einfach "Stupid". Auf die Frage, weshalb eine Klassenkameradin sie hasst, bekommt Dawn eine direkte Antwort: "You're ugly." Dawn ist nicht hässlich, doch sie hat die Ausstrahlung eines Opfers. Sie ist die Zielscheibe für Sadisten. Ihr einziger Freund in der Schule ist ein Junge, viel kleiner ist als sie selbst, dessen Spitzname "faggot" lautet. Lesbo und Faggot sind nicht zwingend homosexuell. Für die anderen Schüler stellen sie einfach all das dar, was man selbst unter keinen Umständen sein will. Sie sind das, wovor jeder Angst hat! Welcome to The Dollhouse ist aber keine soziologische Studie, sondern eine Komödie. Wir werden mit Dawns Leid konfrontiert, erleben aber auch die witzigen Seiten ihrer Person. Dawns älterer Bruder ist ein Nerd, die jüngere Schwester Ballerina. Ihr Bruder Mark (Matthew Faber) will ein gutes College besuchen und gründet eine Garagen-Band. Für dieses Projekt gewinnt er sogar den populären Steve (Eric Mabius) als Sänger. Steve ist schon erwachsen und gut aussehend - und Dawn bekommt weiche Knie, wenn er in der Nähe ist. Er ist der Typ, der einfach gerne Frauenherzen bricht, Dawn aber gar nicht bemerkt. Dawn weiss wenig über Sex, sie ist ziemlich unaufgeklärt, aber bereit zu lernen. Für Steve täte sie alles! Währenddessen wird sie von Brandon (Brendan Sexton Jr.) heimgesucht. Dawn ist klug genug, um zu wissen, dass Jungen ihres Alters gern Gefühle zeigen, indem sie feindselig wirken. In einer der schönsten Szenen arrangiert Brandon ein Date mit ihr, um sie zu "vergewaltigen" (was natürlich nicht geschieht). Szene für Szene stellt Solondz Film die Qualen in der Schule für einen Teenager wie Dawn nach und beweist ihre Belastbarkeit. Wir hoffen darauf, sie werde sich eines Tages rächen, indem sie erfolgreich und beliebt sein wird, während die Cheerleaders ein erbärmliches Leben führen mögen! Welcome to The Dollhouse ist das Debüt von Todd Solondz, das 1996 Sundance gewann. Er schenkt jedem Detail seine schonungslose Aufmerksamkeit und das ist der Schlüssel zu Solondz Satire. Die kleinen Dinge sinds: Wie Dawn täglich in den Spiegel blickt, wie ihr Kleid sitzt und ob es eventuell winzige Zeichen der Hoffnung gibt? Wenn du Welcome To The Dollhouse sehen kannst, ohne eigene schlimme Erinnerungen - sei froh! Denn dann warst du glücklicher als Dawn es in diesem Moment ist.

    cinegeek.de Our Daily Free Stream: Todd Solondz - Welcome To The Dollhouse. Welcome To The Dollhouse erinnert uns mit brutaler Genauigkeit an die Schulzeit. Viele Filme behandeln diese Zeit als eine Art Paradies des Heranwachsens. Dieser Film dagegen wirkt wie ein Schock, denn wir sehen, wie grausam Kinder gegeneinander sein können - und wie tief diese Wunden wirken! Wohl jeder hat noch die Gesichter vor Augen der Schüler, die uns damals quälten. Würden wir ihnen heute auf der Strasse begegnen - könnten wir ihnen vergeben? Auf der anderen Seite; wie viele Kinder haben wir selbst erniedrigt und gedemütigt? Ich denke, dieser Hass wirkt nach bis heute. Heather Matarazzo spielt Dawn Wiener. Sie ist ausgesprochen unbeliebt, ihre Brille sitzt schief, die Frisur, die Gesichtsfarbe und die Klamotten: Nichts passt. Dawn ist ein hoffnungsloser Geek. Wir erleben sie während eines qualvollen Rituals in der Cafeteria mit beladenem Tablett: Sie sucht einen Tisch, an dem sie nicht zurückgewiesen wird, weit weg von allen, unbemerkt. Ihr Spitzname: "Wiener Dog", manchmal auch "Lesbo" oder einfach "Stupid". Auf die Frage, weshalb eine Klassenkameradin sie hasst, bekommt Dawn eine direkte Antwort: "You're ugly." Dawn ist nicht hässlich, doch sie hat die Ausstrahlung eines Opfers. Sie ist die Zielscheibe für Sadisten. Ihr einziger Freund in der Schule ist ein Junge, viel kleiner ist als sie selbst, dessen Spitzname "faggot" lautet. Lesbo und Faggot sind nicht zwingend homosexuell. Für die anderen Schüler stellen sie einfach all das dar, was man selbst unter keinen Umständen sein will. Sie sind das, wovor jeder Angst hat! Welcome to The Dollhouse ist aber keine soziologische Studie, sondern eine Komödie. Wir werden mit Dawns Leid konfrontiert, erleben aber auch die witzigen Seiten ihrer Person. Dawns älterer Bruder ist ein Nerd, die jüngere Schwester Ballerina. Ihr Bruder Mark (Matthew Faber) will ein gutes College besuchen und gründet eine Garagen-Band. Für dieses Projekt gewinnt er sogar den populären Steve (Eric Mabius) als Sänger. Steve ist schon erwachsen und gut aussehend - und Dawn bekommt weiche Knie, wenn er in der Nähe ist. Er ist der Typ, der einfach gerne Frauenherzen bricht, Dawn aber gar nicht bemerkt. Dawn weiss wenig über Sex, sie ist ziemlich unaufgeklärt, aber bereit zu lernen. Für Steve täte sie alles! Währenddessen wird sie von Brandon (Brendan Sexton Jr.) heimgesucht. Dawn ist klug genug, um zu wissen, dass Jungen ihres Alters gern Gefühle zeigen, indem sie feindselig wirken. In einer der schönsten Szenen arrangiert Brandon ein Date mit ihr, um sie zu "vergewaltigen" (was natürlich nicht geschieht). Szene für Szene stellt Solondz Film die Qualen in der Schule für einen Teenager wie Dawn nach und beweist ihre Belastbarkeit. Wir hoffen darauf, sie werde sich eines Tages rächen, indem sie erfolgreich und beliebt sein wird, während die Cheerleaders ein erbärmliches Leben führen mögen! Welcome to The Dollhouse ist das Debüt von Todd Solondz, das 1996 Sundance gewann. Er schenkt jedem Detail seine schonungslose Aufmerksamkeit und das ist der Schlüssel zu Solondz Satire. Die kleinen Dinge sinds: Wie Dawn täglich in den Spiegel blickt, wie ihr Kleid sitzt und ob es eventuell winzige Zeichen der Hoffnung gibt? Wenn du Welcome To The Dollhouse sehen kannst, ohne eigene schlimme Erinnerungen - sei froh! Denn dann warst du glücklicher als Dawn es in diesem Moment ist.

  • Jan 23, 2016

    Oh dear, this was weird. Welcome to the Dollhouse is about the life of a 7th grader who has a very hard time in school and at home because of her siblings who seem to be taking every inch of attention. This movie is basicaly about Dawn, the 7th grader I mentioned, and her school/home life. It's a drama, but with a lot of comedy mixed in and it works most of the time. I do have to admit that the scenes between Dawn and Steve, an older guy who she has a crush for, are extremely cringey! Not because of the acting, it's just awkward seeing how they interact with each other, but I believe that was the movie's intention. The acting is great, while I'm at that subject. The performances are believable and the characters, as well. Everything is as it's supposed to be. Nothing is overblown or sugarcoated. The direction is great and I love the look of the movie. It's colorful, yet the story isn't. I love those contrasts in movies like this. The soundtrack is, too, great. What I didn't really get was the ending. I mean, it's not that I don't get it, it's just that I found it unsatisfying. No spoiling it, though. There's not much more that I can say about the movie except that it's worth checking out for its odd feeling and a realistic portrayal of Dawn's life.

    Oh dear, this was weird. Welcome to the Dollhouse is about the life of a 7th grader who has a very hard time in school and at home because of her siblings who seem to be taking every inch of attention. This movie is basicaly about Dawn, the 7th grader I mentioned, and her school/home life. It's a drama, but with a lot of comedy mixed in and it works most of the time. I do have to admit that the scenes between Dawn and Steve, an older guy who she has a crush for, are extremely cringey! Not because of the acting, it's just awkward seeing how they interact with each other, but I believe that was the movie's intention. The acting is great, while I'm at that subject. The performances are believable and the characters, as well. Everything is as it's supposed to be. Nothing is overblown or sugarcoated. The direction is great and I love the look of the movie. It's colorful, yet the story isn't. I love those contrasts in movies like this. The soundtrack is, too, great. What I didn't really get was the ending. I mean, it's not that I don't get it, it's just that I found it unsatisfying. No spoiling it, though. There's not much more that I can say about the movie except that it's worth checking out for its odd feeling and a realistic portrayal of Dawn's life.

  • Nov 15, 2015

    A very dark and very captivating coming-of-age saga.

    A very dark and very captivating coming-of-age saga.