Over two hours of rights and wrongs... my personal experience is that I didn´t check my watch for about two hours and when the credits rolled I stayed put. It´s hypnotic how it sustains a relentless pace for that long. It´s many things at once: a moral dilemma, a growing process, a mother-daughter relationship... and more. Everything accumulates with a plausible chaos similar to real life nonsense. In that aspect the script seems to have been written on its own. Things happen and we react. That makes any off-putting scene easily forgivable because characters seriously come to life and reactions and interactions seem inevitable.
It focuses entirely on Lisa, a well-intentioned, educated, confused and pretentious teenager. The rest of an impressive cast only exist in relation to her and there are unexpected small parts played by big names that support this project´s epic ambitions. This is the first film I´ve seen that takes full advantage of Anna Paquin´s talent for over-acting. Her character is a turmoil of emotions and she doesn´t hold back. She´s often unfair, judgmental, self-centered and over-dramatic but those traits ring true to the character. Paquin shows her struggle to develop as a person, her will to do the right thing and be the best she can be. She makes her character believable and ultimately likable.
What I didn´t like were the dialogues, constantly using big words for the sake of it and over-explaining emotions. If Lisa was the only character to fall into that I´d be ok with it, but she´s not. That makes different characters seem deranged in the exact same way. Emily´s scenes lose a lot of credibility because of that. Then there´s the accident which inspires the whole "moral gimnasium". It isn´t intricate enough to sustain the epic conflict of interests it aims for. What we get is a whole lot of legal mumbo-jumbo. It´s unbalanced the way it insists on some points while leaving others almost untouched. Lisa´s guilt should have been explored further since she had such a big part on the accident. I´m guessing the film suffered enormously from the nightmarish editing process I only learned about later. The chaos kind of gets out of control at some point and the epic it looks for gets lost, absurd, even. I can understand how it was supposed to be an even longer film but I don´t see how including details about her abortion would have improved upon the dilemma.
Again, lots of rights and wrongs, it depends which part you choose to stay with. It´s a pitty because the ending is effective and the overall experience is rich, despite its many flaws.
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
Bothersome New York City high-school student Lisa Cohen (17), who consistently messes up her life and that of boy classmates, searches New York in vain for a fit cowboy hat to wear at an excursion with her separated father and stepmother. Spotting one on bus driver Maretti's head but failing to board, she stubbornly runs along and keeps claiming his confused attention, until the bus hits a blind senior, who is wounded fatally The NYPD quickly closes the case as an accident, but Lisa, duly consumed by guilt and spared any charge, starts bothering everyone and making a mean pest of herself, not only at home, as self-absorbed actress mother may deserve, but also in the precinct, tracking down the victim's uninterested kin out of town and even Maretti at home. A family friend lawyer gets involved in the case, digging in to compromising circumstances and causing real trouble to people who were of the hook.
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September 30, 2012 at 04:09 AM