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Gifted 18-year-old Meg has been abandoned by her father and neglected by her hardworking mother. Left to care for her emotionally disturbed younger sister, her world begins to unravel. She finds an outlet in writing poetry and support from her English teacher, Mr. Auster. But what started out as a mentoring relationship begins to get a bit more complex. Written by
I've visited IMDb frequently in the past and have voted on over 250 films, but the previous comments regarding this film compel me to write my first review. "Blue Car" is, like most films, not without its flaws, but its strengths make it, in my opinion, one of the best American indie films I've seen for quite some time.
"Blue Car" is a movie that lacks clear villains; its characters are imperfect people who sometimes make the wrong decisions. I read a flattering review before seeing the movie, which I later regretted... The review gave away just enough to make me anticipate the film's climax and resolution, a reason why I have decided to remain conspicuously vague here.
The film is about Meg Denning (sp?), a troubled high school student whose poetry impresses her AP English teacher. Meg is still struggling to overcome the emotional abandonment she experienced after her father left. Her sister is likewise depressed and refuses to eat. Her mother is preoccupied with her job and night school. I realize these issues have been dealt with so thoroughly by Disney and Hollywood hacks that they have almost become cliche. Nevertheless, the fact that these situations are relatively commonplace make the story more plausible. The dialogue never degenerates into the pathetic sentimentalism one expects from Spielberg... The dialogue is robust -- the film's characters are dealt with fairly and realistically.
At the suggestion of her English teacher, Meg enters a poetry contest... As Meg's family problems are compounded by subsequent events, she begins to rely increasingly on her AP English teacher for encouragement, emotional support, and self-affirmation...And then, being as vague as possible, complex situations emerge... :o)
Every character in the film has sympathetic qualities. You might not agree with the decisions they make, and some of their actions might even disturb you...But in this age of simpleminded, dualistic rhetoric, when politicians talk about Good and Evil as though life were an episode of "He-Man," "Blue Car" is a refreshing film filled with characters who occupy the grey void lurking between black and white.
The film is not perfect. Certain events occur involving Meg's sister Lily, which are pivotal to the movie. I'm not that fond of how the film deals with Lily's emotional troubles, and facts surrounding the culmination of Lily's troubles are, in my mind, highly questionable. (Sorry. I can't be more specific without ruining the movie. If you see it, you'll probably know what I'm talking about.) These minor flaws are well worth overlooking.
Unfortunately, film as an industry is as white-male dominated as the field of theoretical physics -- perhaps even more so. It is sad indeed that the greatest living female director is probably Leni Riefenstahl, the despicable opportunist whose masterpieces include "Triumph of the Will."
That being the case, Karen Moncrieff's debut comes as a relief. She has proven herself to be a talented, insightful, up-and-coming director whose career will be worth keeping an eye on. Overall, I give the film a 9.
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