Aviva is thirteen, awkward and sensitive. Her mother Joyce is warm and loving, as is her father, Steve, a regular guy who does have a fierce temper from time to time. The film revolves around her family, friends and neighbors.
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Rolf de Heer,
A fable of innocence: thirteen-year-old Aviva Victor wants to be a 'mom'. She does all she can to make this happen, and comes very close to succeeding, but in the end her plan is thwarted by her sensible parents. So she runs away, still determined to get pregnant one way or another, but instead finds herself lost in another world, a less sensible one, perhaps, but one pregnant itself with all sorts of strange possibility. She takes a road trip from the suburbs of New Jersey, through Ohio to the plains of Kansas and back. Like so many trips, this one is round-trip, and it's hard to say in the end if she can ever be quite the same again, or if she can ever be anything but the same again. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Todd Solondz returns with an excellent piece of film making in this very twisted fairy tale. It tells the story of Aviva who desperately wants to have a baby despite being very young. She craves loving attention and when not getting it at home believes that having a baby will bring her a strong enough bond to fill her emotional void. On falling pregnant after her first sexual encounter her parents insist she has an abortion, this she does but not happy she runs away from home. And so her story begins as she travels from one bizarre encounter to another, some funny and some sad. The pace of the film is pitched just right and it takes you along with the trial and tribulations of Aviva despite her being played by several different characters. This has been done to play with the audience's preconceptions of how you identify with a character depending on how they look and it works to startling effect. In between Aviva leaving home and the emotional reunion with her parents we are subjected to the seedy underbelly of Middle America within an array of characters the league of gentlemen boys would struggle to make up. Nothing seems taboo to Solondz and this makes for a refreshingly different movie experience if you can get your head around it. Shocking in places but ultimately rewarding to anyone prepared to give palindromes a chance.
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