5.2/10
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13 user 13 critic

Evergreen (2004)

PG-13 | | Drama | 19 January 2004 (USA)
A young girl seduced by a boy's affluent, seemingly idyllic family, goes to extremes to gain acceptance and escape her poverty-stricken homelife.

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
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Kate
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Susan
...
Chat
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Jim
...
Grandmom
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Henri
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Frank
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Brianne Fitzpatrick ...
High School Student
James Jensen ...
Extra
Charles Leggett ...
'Envy' Game Show Host
Zach Zulauf ...
Mark Zakowski
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Storyline

Fourteen year old Henrietta--Henri for short--longs for everything she doesn't have. Looking down a road that turns bad instead of right, Henri and her mother Kate are forced to move in with her grandmother in a leaking shack on the edge of town. Henri is hell bent on finding a way out. At the same time, Henri meets a boy at school, Chat Turly, and becomes infatuated with his seemingly ideal wealthy family. Henri overlooks some of the curious behavior she witnesses at the Turlys', choosing instead to see what she wants to see as she tries desperately to become a part of the family. When Henri can no longer ignore the severe flaws in Chat's home life, she comes to appreciate what she does have in a new light. Written by Sujit R. Varma

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Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for sexual content involving teens, and for language
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19 January 2004 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Enid Zentelis was at the Sundance Scriptwriters Lab in 2000 with the script for this movie when its title was "Avon Calling". See more »

Soundtracks

New Love
Written by Jon Williams
Performed by Mount Pilot
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User Reviews

Keep Going and Don't Look Back
15 September 2004 | by (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews

I grew up about 20 minutes outside of Marysville, WA and left that crap town about two minutes after I turned 18. Evergreen is the reason why. The plot may seem slow and manufactured to some, but that's just because they don't have the depth to understand that kind of life. The Pacific Northwest is a unique place: there's poverty with few ways out and the writer accurately displayed its territory of factories and Indian casinos. If your family wasn't in on the Intel or Microsoft boom, then you were likely at the mercy of the Georgia Pacific factory (Toliet Paper) or Bellingham Cold Storage (frozen fish factory). Inidan Reservations can only get support from the government through establishing a Casino, which often wouldn't create the revenues they needed to sustain their initial investments.

Although I had the advantage (or should I say disadvantage) of understanding these characters unique situations because I too, was raised in a four room shack with a leaky roof, we had vermin and a garage with no garage doors, as well as an unmanicured lawn because we couldn't afford to fix the lawnmower- I still believe the writer had a larger responsibility to the audience to which does not understand these circumstances, let alone the little victories and joy in escaping them.

The acting was sympathetic and believable, but the writing could have been strengthened if - instead of being shown the rainy depressing details of the town - we experienced them through the characters. Henri never goes to the edge the way you do when you truly are in poverty like that. Trust me on that. We only saw a little fight here or there, but no significant strain of plot. When you're up against the wall in that kind of poverty - without enough money for "bus fare" and you don't have your own bed as the roof above leaks on you, there are ways of coping. Drugs, alcohol, sex, prostitution, runaways, crime, vandalism...and all we see is just a little more than what a suburbanite kid on an ABC after school special might turn to.

This film couldn't help but grab me because it pulled me back into a place I left 12 years ago with a piece of junk car much like the one Kate's boyfriend drove around in. The grass, trees, sound of rain, the logs, the storefronts, it was all set still in time, and it was the first time I'd been back to that place I never wanted to set foot in again. But not every moviegoer will have this perspective.

Sometimes, there's a reason not to go back, and after seeing this film I now remember why. It left me with that same hopeless, tired, sad feeling that being in a family of victims is as high in life as one can go. Thank God that piece of junk car of mine just kept going. I'd suggest you do the same.


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