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Rynn Jacobs is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives in a secluded house that she and her father have rented in a quiet seaside community. But whenever anybody from the town tries to satisfy their curiosity, Rynn's father is never around, and it seems as if the girl is all alone. Rynn's resourcefulness is put to the test as several people try to find out what she might be hiding, including the snobby landlady and her sleazy son. Written by
New to a seaside village, a young girl and her poet father seem to live an isolated existence, until curious neighbors get nosy and always seem to find the fiercely independent girl on her own... Unwisely advertised as a horror movie, "Little Girl" is instead an amazing psychological thriller, rich with atmosphere and featuring a lead performance by Jodie Foster that is deft and incredibly assured. The sequence where Foster, troubled by the sickness of a friend, eats alone at a hamburger counter (actually, she hasn't touched her food), then wanders down the street studded with marquee lights has to be one of the most beautiful Foster moments put on film. Well-directed and written, the movie is very cognizant of the way adults condescend to or ignore children, and allows leading character Rynn to use her intelligence as a tool--and maybe a weapon as well. Those looking for slasher-type jolts may be disappointed with the picture; it's more subtle than something like "Halloween", creating suspense out of tension and mood instead of outré violence. Foster was at a personal peak at this time in the movies, having just completed "Taxi Driver" and "Bugsy Malone". This isn't the harrowing character study of "Taxi Driver", but it is a remarkable portrait of a terribly uncommon child dealing with very grown-up issues. Due out on DVD in October 2005.
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