Desperate to be free from her drunken, unloving mother Diane, the beautiful, scheming young Mini seduces her stepfather Martin and soon convinces him to join her in a sadistic scheme to have Diane declared insane. But their conspiracy soon escalates to murder and when John Garson, a young detective starts investigating, Martin and Mini begin to turn on each other. Written by
If you're a fan of this genre, you'll love this film. If not probably not for you, but one of the funniest films I've seen in a long time. Depraved, unrelenting, will probably scare the hell out of some parents or Christian fundamentalists who think Hollywood is glorifying deviant behavior in our teens.
The conceit of the film, a girl who will try anything once is very effective because you're always wondering where this philosophy will take us next. Without giving anything away, this idea mixed with an ethereal, driving score pulls you into Mini's world and you'll follow her anywhere.
The performances by all 5 leads are incredible. Baldwin gives his best performance in years and that's saying a lot because he's been doing great work. It's easily the best I've seen this year so far in any film by a male lead. He renders this macho, yet beaten down PR exec in a way where although he doesn't deserve our sympathy, he gets it.
Reed is astonishing. Part vixen, part little girl lost, the glee with which she sets about her goals, takes a character who is, in fact a sociopath and makes you respect and like her. Although what she does is without a doubt destructive there is an implicit understanding that she is surrounded by adults who only pretend to be moral. Her intellectual honesty is actually refreshing.
Her performance works in part because of Carrie Anne Moss' willingness to deliver one of the most chilling and hilarious performances in years as Mini's mother. The incarnation of Hollywood self absorption. It's clear that Mini wasn't born this way, she is a product of Diane's utter lack of mothering. Mini is an inconvenient appendage in Diane's life and Diane lets her know it whenever she can.
Jeff Goldblum is spot on perfect as their TV producer neighbor, whose lighthearted, Dionysian life is a constant thorn in Baldwin's side. Luke Wilson also gives as subtle a performance as he has in years. At first playing an incarnation of his sad sack Mitch from "Old School" and then switching on a dime to show us just how smart this detective has been all along. The look of muted terror on Baldwin's face when he realizes how he's been the recipient of Wilson's own PR play is priceless.
I'm sure some parents groups will attack it as encouraging teenagers to turn on their parents and to indulge in the darkest parts of society, but it really felt like a cautionary tale about what happens when kids know in their bones that they aren't loved.
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