In 1920s and 1930s New Zealand, Janet Frame grows up in a poor family with lots of brothers and sisters. Already at an early age she is different from the other kids. She gets an education ... See full summary »
Based solely on a tea leaf reading, superstitious and introspective Kay believes she and Louis are destined to fall in love with each other, he who she is able to convince of the same ... See full summary »
Two girls, at 15; Louise, in a prestigious girls' high school, and Kelly, who was admitted but forbidden by her father to attend. This is the end of their friendship, and from here the film... See full summary »
While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire PJ Waters, a macho ... See full summary »
An American girl inherits a fortune and falls into a misguided relationship with a gentleman confidence artist whose true nature, including a barbed and covetous disposition, turns her life into a nightmare.
A mute woman along with her young daughter, and her prized piano, are sent to 1850s New Zealand for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, and she's soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.
A father along with his son and sister is driving back home in his car. The son continiously is throwing orange peels onto the road when suddenly the father stops the car and tells his son ... See full summary »
In 1920s and 1930s New Zealand, Janet Frame grows up in a poor family with lots of brothers and sisters. Already at an early age she is different from the other kids. She gets an education as a teacher but since she is considered abnormal she stays at a mental institution for eight years. Success comes when she starts to write novels. Written by
Superficially, this is a sort of "My Brilliant Career," meets "A Beautiful Mind."
It features one of the most extraordinary actresses, new to me. I saw her in "Intmacy" and had to find more. It is made by a talented and sometimes engaging filmmaker who explores how women are haunted. It is about a writer whose books don't grab me, but whose story does. She believed herself haunted.
The problem is that these three songs from different souls don't overlap that much.
Frame created written images that were teased out of a struggle with life, one that infused her. Her sanity came from the writing. She didn't write about insanity and marginalization, she wrote from them to counter and co-opt them somewhat. This engages the reader because most of us are afraid to go as deeply into the darkness as these visions indicate.
That's a different thing entirely than the story Campion has chosen to give us, which is about all the external agency that surrounded her. I cannot think of an instance where the literary kite and the cinematic string are in such different dimensions. Sure, its an interesting story that someone's light survived, I suppose. But we never see that light, or the ledges that were climbed, or the images that were carried out for us.
What's left for Fox to do is emote visually. She does an extraordinary job, quite apart from the fact that it is ineffective in this container. I really do think she's something another of those Australian/New Zealand crowd that just seem to have something that is rare elsewhere.
She and the girls who play her younger selves are redheads. That's not at all a cinematic device, though it is used cleverly to mend the three actresses. Frame actually had that Clarabelle hair.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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