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Two teens tell stories about their lives while waiting at a bus stop. Judith and her brother have suffered a nomadic existence with their semi-professional ballroom dancing parents, who are now past their prime. Jimmy tells two tales. One about two women who meet up with a high-roller in Atlantic City. The second is about an infertile woman's marriage to a religious fanatic. The three stories are told in anthology style. Meanwhile, bus station denizens wander in and out. Chief among these are a bag lady and a fat cop. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Matarazzo shines in Lisanne Skyler's labour of love
It is obvious that director Lisanne Skyler has tremendous respect for the writings of Joyce Carol Oates. She weaves several stories together in this intriguingly conceived film about lost souls meeting in a bus station. Heather Matarazzo follows up her amazing performance in Welcome To The Doll House with a more measured, but nonetheless brilliant, essay of a displaced teen trying to make sense of what is left from her life.
Zach Braff is phenomenal in the confined role of her brainy and equally depressed brother. Bebe Neuwirth also shines as their mother, Trixie. Only Mark Blum as the father seems badly miscast.
Bo Hopkins does a wonderful supporting turn as a security guard, and Chris Noth and Celia Weston also bring great panache to their supporting characters. Skyler does a masterful job weaving the different stories and diverse characters into her quilt in the first 60% of the film. However, the pacing slows down considerably and her directorial rhythm falters when she focuses solely on the narrative explaining the siblings' predicament which quickly decays into a study of repetition.
However, viewers who persevere will be rewarded. Upon returning to the bus terminal, the characterizations are bestowed dimension in quite skillful and unexpected manners.
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