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In Toronto, the fifteen year-old student and aspirant writer Sarah Norton meets the sixty year old painter Ashley St. Clair in a cafeteria while hiding from her stalker boy-friend Paul. Ashley hasn't painted for ten years. He agrees to read the poems that Sarah has written. They start seeing each other at his studio and Sarah falls in love with him. Ashley feels a platonic love for Sarah that becomes his muse and he decides to paint again. Paul spies Sarah in Ashley's studio, and misunderstands their relationship, he attacks her in a cornfield but she defends herself. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The relationship between a burnt-out painter of 60 and the schoolgirl who inspires him to start working again. She falls for him, he keeps her at arm's length, but the strain of pubescent desire is too much and she starts to crack. Tatum O'Neal is lovely in this film. She's not a lazy actress, she simply doesn't ham it up like today's teen players. The sequence where she hopes to seduce painter Richard Burton by disrobing in his studio is quite sad (she wants to surprise him, he surprises her by getting angry). The scene with Tatum and Richard hanging out with a group of her school-friends is wonderful (none of the girls judge him or second-guess her) and O'Neal is sweet promising to return to Burton as quickly as she can ("I'll break all speed records!" she tells him). There are no "Lolita" overtones here. Tatum plays a fairly normal teenager who develops a crush on a fascinating man who is much older. Her heart is bound to get broken, and Burton tries his best to steer her through this. It's a simple, no-frills Canadian drama that will appeal to romantics and young women who may have experienced a crush like this along the way. **1/2 from ****
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