The story follows 19-year-old Renee (Kat Dennings) who has always loved fairy tales: the idea of a princess, a hero and a happily ever after. But Renee's life is that of a darker tale: she's a young woman battling addiction, depression and self-injury. In a creative blend of artistic fantasy balanced with harsh reality, the movie follows Renee on her courageous journey towards recovery. Written by
Produced in 2012, this film has traveled the film festival circuit for far too long without having a proper mainstream release.
The story's arc is revealed to us through the mind of the main character through an imaginative use of animated visuals. The audience is allowed to travel in and out of the mind of the main character's coping mechanisms through a very clever and effective assortment of visual and musical story devices. When these mechanisms begin to fail, these conventions carry through in an appropriately dynamic fashion.
Rupert Friend delivers a stunning performance in his supporting role, and this film will be a pleasant surprise to those who know this actor from the 'Homeland' series.
The film has some roughness around the edges, and at times feels like a very expensive (and slightly didactic) after-school special. But those moments are fleeting, and are contrasted with some very harsh visuals and story progression that are anything but didactic.
We're presented with a brutally honest story that is at times both beautiful and horrifying in its presentation of characters that come full circle in the end.
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