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The Giving Tree (2000)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  7 March 2000 (USA)
4.1
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Ratings: 4.1/10 from 377 users  
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Nine former schoolmates, staying at a secluded mountain cabin for a reunion, try to figure out why one of their friends and their hostess would invite them there and commit suicide which ... See full summary »

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Title: The Giving Tree (2000)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Emily
...
T.J.
...
James
...
Alex (as Moon Zappa)
...
Penelope
Tiffany Salerno ...
Zoey
Leslie Horan ...
Sara
...
Jules
Brad Harrison ...
Harrison
Stephen Lisk ...
Zack
...
Mr. Forrester
...
Mrs. Forrester (as Judith Fraser)
...
Kyle
Alan Marshall ...
Tate
Gina Salerno ...
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Storyline

Nine former schoolmates, staying at a secluded mountain cabin for a reunion, try to figure out why one of their friends and their hostess would invite them there and commit suicide which prompts them to look into the mysterious and dark past of their 10th friend. Written by Matt Patay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Best Friends, Dark Secrets

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, sexuality, a scene of sexual assault and drug content | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

7 March 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brutal Truth  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

When the guests go into the house for the first time...there is a bandage on Molly Ringwald's foot as she heads up the stairs. Inside the house...when the piano is uncovered...no bandage is present. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A memorable one-line starring role.
22 April 2000 | by (Mount Horeb, Wisconsin USA) – See all my reviews

Back in 1952, Ray Milland, Martin Gabel and Rita Gam starred in THE THIEF, an exquisite film-noir (it was black & white as well as moody) about a nuclear scientist giving away secrets to a foreign power, whose conscience got to him. The film was notable in that there was not a single line of dialogue, yet the filmplay was totally understandable.

This week, I saw Christina Applegate accomplish more or less the same effect in the lead role in BRUTAL TRUTH (written up earlier in IMDB as THE GIVING TREE). I believe her sole line of dialogue was "I'm Emily", quietly delivered as an offhand reply to "Who are you?" after she arrives late to the high school reunion party she is hosting for eight other former gen-X late 20s folks. She then walks out into the yard of her family's expansive mountaintop home and hangs herself from the left-hand rope of her childhood swing.

This early and totally unexpected demise notwithstanding, her offscreen and now-dead presence -- as well various silent on-screen flashbacks of her as a compelled and terrified witness at a gang rape at an earlier party -- eerily dominates this film as few other performances that I have ever seen on screen. I have read somewhere that Christina Applegate is noted for utterly lacking the usual aura of artificiality and affectation that surrounds so many stars in television and films. I have seen most of her films, including Corman's well-made STREETS, and I think she does equally well in serious drama as well as the comedy that she mastered through 13 years of MARRIED WITH CHILDREN. Only an actor with a truly serene and satisfied ego would take on a one-line leading role, but use it to dominate an entire film. Bravo.

And if my memory of film images serves me, her profile resembles that of young Grace Kelly before that lady become Princess Grace, more so than any other contemporary actress.


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