After their parents' untimely death in a car accident, Penny struggles to take care of her younger sister Mary, who suffers from an incurable disease. A precocious former poet, Penny has ... See full summary »
Mary Stuart Masterson,
Story of a man Bill Januson whose pride in being the head of his family won't let him accept help from his sick daughters doctor. He has to prove to his kids that even with the death of his... See full summary »
Emily returns to her family's sheep farm in rural Pennsylvania after an affair with the politician who has fathered her baby. Doubted by the community she has returned to, she questions her... See full summary »
After running away from her last foster placement with the Regan family, twelve year old Hollis Woods is placed with a new foster mother, the loving, retired art teacher, Josie Cahill. ... See full summary »
Difficult tale of poor, struggling South Carolinian mother & daughter, who each face painful choices with their resolve and pride. Bone, the eldest daughter, and Anney her tired mother, ... See full summary »
Jennifer Jason Leigh,
A story about Rebecca, a woman who goes in search of her natural parents and in the process finds her long lost family and her rich cultural heritage. Her adoption was never kept a secret ... See full summary »
Because the passage of years has a way of fogging most adults' memories of their own "childhoods" - especially in the intangible areas of feelings, hopes, hurts, decisions, goals, strategies, etc., they will often conclude that "children" are sort of non-sentient, non-human beings - blank pages in-putting a stream of data for use in their later, more important after metamorphosis existence. I read a review once of "The Cure", a movie starring young actors Joseph Mazzello and Brad Renfro, where a critic in a backhanded compliment called them "two of the best pre-actors around." I suppose that was because, being under twenty-one, they must be "pre-people." Judging by a few of Jena Malone's recent public remarks, not to mention her own real-life experiences, I'm sure she would object to such an attitude. Certainly, her film career belies that attitude. The movie "Ellen Foster" is a good case in point. In it she portrays an eleven year-old girl who, when buffeted by the cruelty and insensitivity of the supposed wise adult world responsible for her care, sets out determinedly to shape a world for herself that does make sense. Ellen belongs to no one but her own unique really human self.
However, it isn't just the character who achieves the point. More important, by her powerful performance, Miss Malone certainly proves she is an actor - and person - of substance. Her ability to read and interpret with such perception and sensitivity the inner being of Ellen as she goes through her trials and sets out on her steadfast quest is precisely on point. This movie is a tour de force for Jena Malone. In the field of acting, she takes a back seat to no one ... of any age.
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