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MIDDLE OF NOWHERE [Jul. 26th, 2009|02:05 pm]
••••• CINEMA TOAST •••••


the movie, not the Hansen album
Starring Susan Sarandon, Anton Yelchin, and Eva Amurri

This review is very light on the spoilers & doesn't divulge any major plot turns.

The Anton Yelchin enthusiasts over at ontd_startrek turned me on to this indie dramedy that's like a more organic, less eager to please version of Adventureland. It follows Grace, a young woman with pre-med ambitions who is turned down for college financing because her mother has destroyed her credit rating. She now has to raise a large sum of money for college by the end of the summer at her minimum wage job at a waterpark.

Damion is Grace's co-worker. Anton Yelchin plays him as a modern day, ADD-prone hippie whose misbehavior has lead his wealthy adoptive parents to send him to stay with his middle-class uncle for a summer of "character building." Damion is immediately attracted to Grace, her brainy focus complimenting his aimless enthusiasm.

Grace's mom (Susan Sarandon) is used to getting by on her charm and her somewhat morally-questionable schemes, but is now left with fading beauty, a dilapidated mansion, and two fatherless daughters (the father committed suicide six years ago). She hangs her hopes on Grace's younger sister Taylor, pressuring the beautiful teen into a modeling career while ignoring Grace's own ambitions for med school.

Damion enlists Grace in his pot-selling "business," knowing she needs the money and hoping to win her affection. Taylor, meanwhile, is looking for her sister's friendship. Throughout that summer, the three form a bond that evolves as each learns the truth- the complicated, imperfect truth- of themselves and their origins.

I found the film to be an interesting character study that doesn't necessarily provide "right" or "wrong" answers, but rather forces the viewer to put some contemplation into the experience. Definitely worth a spot in your Netflix queue.

From: (Anonymous)
2011-04-13 03:07 am (UTC)

could've been better, but solid

This movie came recommended to me because I'm a huge fan of The Go-Getter, and I heard this was similar - a coming of age indie dramedy with some romance thrown in and a killer indie rock soundtrack. The Susan Sarandon/Eva Amurri mother/daughter combo was enticing too, and this movie just came to Netflix Instant Watch, so I checked it out.

The movie starts off great, with awesome pacing and some hilarious/awkward moments. I think Anton Yelchin does a great job as Dorian, and they made him a realistic character instead of just a stock idiot drug dealer. However, it did seem to tail off in the second half, and just started to feel a little too indie/emo for me...still, definitely worth a watch.

The music didn't disappoint at all though, and while I would've loved some M. Ward like in the Go-Getter, there were great selections here, too. I especially liked Oslo's "No Regrets" which played the first time Grace (Amurri) drove Dorian to a drug deal, unknowingly (you can watch at http://vimeo.com/22308888 )

Also, in the scene when Dorian meets Grace's little sister Taylor and they played Middle Distance Runner's "The Sun & Earth" I thought it was cool how they incorporated the song into the script ( watch at http://vimeo.com/22308533 )
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