Overall Recommendation:
4.5 stars
(2)
5 Stars:
50.0%
(1)
 
4 Stars:
50.0%
(1)
 
3 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
5.0 stars
(2)
 
Story structure:
3.5 stars
(2)
 
Character:
4.0 stars
(2)
 
Dialogue:
4.0 stars
(2)
 
Emotion:
4.0 stars
(2)
 
 
1-2 of 2 reviews
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1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Wonderful film, characters, dialogue!

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
July 17, 2011
 
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Hints of Lolita and American Beauty

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
June 09, 2011
This story has a great premise. There are hints of Lolita and American Beauty with the retro setting suggesting a nod to Virgin Suicides.
Allison clearly craves love and attention of any kind and works hard at it on all fronts – with her mother, Thomas and her polaroid fans and later with Dee, but the most important and elusive love is her mother’s. The synopsis states: “Allison does everything she can to exorcise the ghost of her half sister”, but it is not until Dee is about to arrive that Allison even knows that this sister exists. Allison fills the gap that her mother has vacated in everyday practical things both out of necessity and to (unsuccessfully) get her mother’s love and approval. The mother-daughter role reversal is almost complete, but Allison doesn’t seem to question it in any way.
Clearly however, Allison slips further into the background in Maggie’s eyes in her desire to bond with her long-lost older daughter. Oddly, Allison doesn’t hold this against Dee for long and indeed manages to establish an amicable rapport with the newcomer. The only exception being Allison’s zeal in retaining her housekeeping duties, perhaps as this represents her primary effective connection with her mother.
Peering in from the outside, whether through her camera or from under the tent with Thomas, Allison is a detached observer. Since Allison is keen to know about the adult world, it may have been interesting to note her reaction to her first cigarette puff (after which Dee and Allison can share a chuckle – whatever the result/reaction), just as we were allowed to note her grimace after tasting Maggie’s beer earlier on.
There seems a little too much focus on Mr Chester (especially his financial situation and the handgun scenes). The correspondence with Allison’s main polaroid fan could perhaps be developed further instead. With this particular fan was she just milking it for what it was worth or had it become some kind of outlet for her frustration and disappointment with her current situation? The latter sense seems the case in the final scenes when Maggie finds the fan letter that leads her to track down Allison.
Maggie clearly has had a hard time and likes her beer, but her rapid deterioration after Dee’s arrival, highlighted by the Mark incident by the pool seems sudden. A little sob in the hospital corridor and then the row with Leroy doesn’t seem sufficient to explain where Maggie is at. Is Maggie upset at not being able to bond better with Dee or about her lost youth or is she trying to compete with Dee? Maggie’s general fragility, dating back to when she was still with Dee’s father (that she was, in Dee’s words, a “basketcase”), is never really clear. She didn’t get custody of Dee but was able to keep Allison after the divorce from Allison’s father.
Also, does Dee miss her Dad? There is no insight beyond her angry dismissal of Allison’s question about the car crash that killed Dee’s father.
Minor typo:
p. 9 dialogue. Maggie’s line: “I gotta go. If I’m late again…” includes the direction “Maggie picks up her purse.”
 

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